Pa. teen shot to death

April 24, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg teenager was shot to death early Wednesday morning at Green Acres Mobile Home Park, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Ernesto "Ernie" Casanova Jr., 17, of 95 Sollenberger Road and formerly of Waynesboro, Pa., was shot at 3 a.m. at a mobile home at 4496 Sycamore Grove Road off of U.S. 11 in Greene Township, a police statement said.

Nobody at the home could be reached for comment.

Casanova apparently broke into the mobile home, according to his mother, Sonia Granados.

Police would not identify who shot Casanova or release any other details about the slaying.

Casanova was pronounced dead at 3:53 a.m. by Franklin County Coroner Kenneth L. Peiffer Jr. An autopsy was performed on the victim Wednesday at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown, Pa.


Neighbors in the mobile home park said they didn't hear a gunshot and didn't realize anything had happened until they woke up Wednesday to see the road blocked with police cars.

Police cordoned off the property, including the mobile home with pale yellow siding and gray trim and shutters, with yellow tape.

"It's kind of frightening," said Stella Forsyth, who lives across the street. "It's just too bad."

A steady stream of family friends visited Casanova's home Wednesday afternoon lending support to Granados and her other 16-year-old son.

Granados said her slain son "was a cheerful person with a smile that used to light up the day."

Granados' only daughter died in 1983.

Family friends described Casanova as an easy-going, kind and loving teen with a lot of friends.

Casanova attended Waynesboro Area Senior High School until his junior year and then quit, Granados said. He was attending Franklin County Area Vocational Technical School trying to earn a general equivalency degree, Granados said.

The family moved from Waynesboro last October because Casanova and some of his friends had been "targeted" as troublemakers by police, Granados said.

"We moved here to get away from all of that," Granados said. "I was hoping to give him a better life here."

Casanova worked as a cook at the Cracker Barrel restaurant on Wayne Road in Chambersburg until he quit a week ago, his mother said.

"It all went downhill from there," she said, noting that Casanova had become depressed and worried about finding another job, earning money and paying for a car.

Casanova was born in Paterson, N.J. His father, Ernesto Casanova Sr., still lives there, Granados said.

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