Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

July 28, 2012

3 shot dead in Pa.; girl taken, found safe in Ohio

QUINCY, Pa. —

A man in south-central Pennsylvania confronting his wife about custody arrangements for their daughter shot to death three people, then fled with the 4-year-old girl before the two were found about 250 miles away in Ohio, authorities said Saturday.

Kevin Matthew Cleeves was trying to contact his wife Friday to make arrangements to pick up his daughter Leia, but his wife didn't answer the phone, so he went to a home in Quincy Township, the (Waynesboro) Record-Herald reported, citing court records.

Police said Cleeves, 35, found a woman and a man sitting in a car and began arguing with them, then was ordered to leave. He then shot to death both of them as well as another woman and took the girl, authorities alleged.

An Amber Alert was issued Friday night but was canceled hours later, on Saturday, after the pair were found in Austintown in northeastern Ohio, outside Youngstown. Police said the child was unharmed and Cleeves was arrested without incident.

"His 4-year-old daughter was located in the vehicle and was unharmed," police said in a statement.

Austintown police said the vehicle had been spotted in a hotel parking lot off Interstate 80 and was later stopped in the parking lot of the Weston Plaza on Route 46, where Cleeves was arrested.

Cleeves was charged with three counts of criminal homicide Saturday in the deaths in Quincy Township, Pa., according to online court records. In the Amber Alert, authorities had said that Cleeves should be considered "armed and dangerous as well as suicidal."

Pennsylvania Trooper Adam Reed would not disclose the names of the three victims. He said more information about the deaths and their relationship to Cleeves would be released later. Court records did not list an attorney for Cleeves.

A detective with the Austintown Township police department in Ohio told The (Chambersburg) Public Opinion that Cleeves was in jail awaiting an extradition hearing, scheduled for Monday.

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