Ambulance workers carry an empty gurney toward the home on Suburban Road where two bodies were found this morning. The bodies were removed about 11:40 a.m.
Ambulance workers carry an empty gurney toward the home on Suburban Road where two bodies were found this morning. The bodies were removed about 11:40 a.m. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Paul Kuehnel)


David Stoner loved his sister, Kathy.

He protected and looked after his sister, who was mentally challenged. He made sure she made it to her job in food services at York Hospital.

But, according to neighbors, David Stoner was sliding deep into depression. He was angry and unhappy after losing his job as a mechanic about a year ago. He became more beaten down each day he could not find work.

Then Friday, David Stoner unexpectedly began talking about the Bible, God and reading Scripture, neighbor Victor Kitner said.

During a conversation Friday over cigarettes in the yard at their apartment complex on Suburban Road in York Township, Stoner was shaking almost uncontrollably, talking about how the depression was winning, Kitner said.

Victor Kitner lives three doors away in the same building as the brother and sister who died Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide.
Victor Kitner lives three doors away in the same building as the brother and sister who died Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Paul Kuehnel)

Two days later, authorities say, David Stoner shot his sister in the head, then shot himself in the head.

David Stoner, 54, and Kathy Stoner, 49, of the 2100 block of Suburban Road, were discovered dead inside their apartment Tuesday morning, said York County Coroner Barry Bloss.

Kitner said David Stoner was concerned about what would happened to his sister if he died.

"He didn't want to live, and he knew he didn't have anyone to take care of her," Kitner said.

Two of Kathy's co-workers became concerned when she didn't show up for work for two days, York Area Regional Police said. Kathy Stoner hadn't missed a day since she started in January 2001.

The workers visited the home. After finding the front door locked, they called 911, said one of them, Lesli Willoughby. They walked around the home and found an unlocked sliding glass door.

They walked into the living room until they saw the Stoners' feet, Willoughby said.

"I froze," she said.

Kitner said he was just returning home when he saw one of the women sobbing in the yard as police combed the area.

Kitner said he heard some loud pops Sunday evening but thought it was noise he typically hears outside, maybe the cannon from the York Revolution game.

The Stoners often struck up conversations with neighbors smoking outside. Kitner said David Stoner never rebounded from being laid off from a dealership about a year ago.

He blames the economy, not any problems between the brother and sister.

"There was no tension between the two of them. They always seemed happy. I never saw them argue or fight," he said.

Word of the murder-suicide spread quickly through the quiet, tree-lined neighborhood on a dead-end street overlooking York city.

Troy Eckard was making breakfast inside his apartment when his 9-year-old daughter, Amanda, told him about the ambulance and police cars outside.

From their window and front sidewalk, they watched and waited to hear what happened.

Amanda said she saw one of the bodies wheeled away on a stretcher. Eckard said he couldn't believe that no one heard the gunfire and that the bodies sat for days.

"It's kind of weird," he said.

Staff writer Jeff Frantz contributed to this report.

OTHER COVERAGE

  • 'Everybody loved Kathy': A co-worker talks about Kathy Stoner

  • Often, family members become caregivers

  • View an interactive map of York County homicides

    LOCATION OF THE MURDER SCENE


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