Kayla Dunlap Death Investigation Leads to Meth Charges Against Rimersburg Pair
RIMERSBURG, Pa. (EYT) – A death investigation in Butler County has lead to felony drug charges against two Clarion County residents.
According to court documents, Butler-based State Police have filed the following charges against Jennifer Marie Elder, 23, of Petrolia; Wendy R. Fross, 40, of Rimersburg; and Matthew T Hoover, 46, of Rimersburg:
- Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
- Conspiracy – Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
- Operating a Methamphetamine Lab, Felony 2
- Deposits, Stores, Disposes Chemical Waste, Felony 3
- Possessing Phenylpropanolamine, etc., or a Precursor Substance with Intent to Unlawfully Manufacture, Felony
- Knowingly possess ephedrine, Misdemeanor
- Int. Possesion Controlled Substance By Person Not Registered, Misdemeanor
- Use/Possesion Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor
A criminal complaint filed by Butler-based State Police Tpr. Brown indicates the investigation was initiated after a woman who was later identified as Kayla Dunlap, 28, of Callensburg, was found dead in a wooded area along Lake Road near Oneida Valley Dam in Oakland Township, Butler County.
“Based on evidence found at the scene, it is believed that Dunlap was left on the side of the road after she died in a different location,” said Tpr. Brown in the criminal complaint.
Dunlap’s purse and other belongings were found near her body.
The criminal complaint states that an autopsy performed on Dunlap on September 17 revealed a defensive hand wound and a perimortem contusion on or around her head.
Further information obtained lead investigators to a residence located at 116 Main Street, Rimersburg, on September 17.
The criminal complaint states that Dunlap was known to stay at the residence with Jennifer Elder, Wendy Fross, and Matthew Hoover.
Interviews conducted with the residents revealed “drug use, manufacturing, distributing, and overdoses” occurred at the residence.
Investigators found a white Ford F-150 registered to Matthew Hoover’s mother at the residence. Elder, Fross, and Hoover all had access to the truck, according to the criminal complaint.
Police observed a black vinyl strap hanging over the truck’s headrest – similar to one found near Dunlap’s deceased body.
The truck was towed to the State Police Barracks in Butler for further examination.
Police searched the vehicle and found three garbage bags containing various items used to manufacture crystal meth.
Items found in the garbage bags included strips of metal, batteries, plastic bottles containing a substance inside, syringes, empty cold pack boxes, drain cleaner, paper filters, and starter fluid.
A check stub with Fross’ name on it was also found in one of the bags.
On September 18, a search warrant was executed at 116 Main Street and crystal meth was found inside the residence, according to the criminal complaint.
The criminal complaint states that additional information was obtained during interviews that indicated crystal meth was being manufactured at the residence.
Butler-based State Police subsequently filed criminal charges against Elder, Fross, and Hoover, on September 29, at Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey C. Miller’s office in New Bethlehem.
Hoover and Elder were lodged in the Clarion County Jail on $100,000 cash bail each.
They face preliminary hearings on October 10 before Judge Miller.
Online court records indicate that Fross has not been jailed as of late Wednesday afternoon.
Dunlap’s death remains under investigation.
Investigators would not speculate on whether additional charges would be filed.
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