Crime

Grand jury detailed investigation into woman’s death

A grand jury presentment provided to the media has detailed the investigation and testimonies that led to felony charges in the death of Corinne Pena.

Sabine I. Graham, 24, and Maria K. Gilligan, 21, have both been charged for drug delivery resulting in death, District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said in a news conference Tuesday evening. She credited the work of the Ferguson Township Police Department in its investigation into Pena’s death.

According to the presentment, Pena died Feb. 13, 2016, and was left half-dressed alongside Plainfield Road, where she was not discovered until the following day. After learning her identity and that she was from the Philadelphia area, a series of individuals came forward saying that Pena had been staying with a State College man prior to her death.

An autopsy on Pena was performed Feb. 15, 2016, at Mount Nittany Medical Center, the presentment said, and “obvious” signs of intravenous drug use were documented. A toxicology report revealed fentanyl was found in her system and was the cause of death.

Ferguson Township police Detective Josh Martin testified that Gilligan came forward to identify Pena on Feb. 16, 2016, the presentment said, saying she admitted she met Pena in rehab and was told by Pena she would be in the State College area with a friend she referred to as “Stockbroker Rob.”

Rob was later identified as Robert Moir, who pleaded guilty for his role in abandoning her body alongside the road and was sentenced for abuse of a corpse.

She reportedly said she and Pena had gone to Lock Haven together the day before she died, the presentment said, and called Moir, who told her Pena had left the previous morning. She allegedly felt this was suspicious and felt Moir must be involved in the body dumping.

Martin testified that surveillance footage had been obtained from the Wal-Mart on North Atherton Street showing Pena, Gilligan, Graham and another female at the store at about 3:45 p.m. Feb. 13. Pena was then picked up by a vehicle matching the description for Moir’s vehicle.

Martin said he spoke with Graham on Feb. 22, 2016, the presentment said, who initially claimed to have picked up Pena and Gilligan at the Party City in State College and drove them to the Wal-Mart in Lock Haven. When confronted that Party City is in close proximity to the Wal-Mart on Benner Pike, she reportedly changed her story and said she drove them to a different store.

She said she had obtained 22 bags of heroin while in Lock Haven, according to the presentment, and delivered 14 of them to Pena.

An acquaintance of Graham’s, whose name was redacted, testified to purchasing heroin from her as well. This person also said Graham admitted she could be tied to two separate overdoses — Pena’s and a second female who overdosed in a Ross’s clothing store bathroom.

Based on the evidence, the presentment said, the grand jury concluded that Graham had obtained what she knew to be illicit substances; delivered 14 bags of heroin to Pena, who ingested eight bags worth based on the number of bags discovered with her belongings; and that Pena had ingested a fatal dose of fentanyl.

Bail for both Graham and Gilligan was set at $150,000 straight each by District Judge Ronald Horner, according to court documents. A preliminary hearing for both is set for April 19.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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