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Coroner says woman died of blunt force trauma

October 18, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - A woman found dead in her home Sunday night after her former boyfriend committed suicide as police were investigating a reported burglary died of blunt force trauma to her head and torso, Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said Tuesday.

Autopsies were performed Tuesday at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown, Pa., on the bodies of Donna M. Finkbeiner, 57, of 327 N. Franklin St., and 46-year-old Victor A. Lippy of 414 W. Loudon St. Conner said Lippy died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Conner classified Finkbeiner's death as a homicide.

Detective Sgt. Dianne Kelso of the Chambersburg Police Department said Tuesday the investigation of the apparent murder-suicide was continuing. She said evidence taken from the home was still being analyzed and no determination had been made as to the murder weapon in Finkbeiner's death.

Police had gone to her house shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday after receiving a call about a possible burglary in progress. Once there, a police officer outside the house saw Lippy, whom he recognized, inside and called for him to come out, police said.

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Lippy shot himself within seconds of the officer challenging him, Kelso said Monday.

Finkbeiner's body was found in the basement and there were signs that Lippy tried to clean up or disguise evidence of an assault, Kelso said. Police said Finkbeiner had been dead for several hours before her body was found, but Conner would not indicate a time of death.

Lippy and Finkbeiner had been in a relationship for several years, police said, but he had recently been asked to move out of her house and had rented a room at Carson's Motel on West Loudon Street.

Lippy had a criminal record dating to 1978, according to courthouse records, and had been arrested for driving under the influence Oct. 7 by state police in Cumberland County and again Oct. 10 by Chambersburg police.

While Finkbeiner did not have a protection from abuse order against Lippy, two other women had in the past gotten protection orders against him. In both cases, the petitions stated Lippy had broken into their homes and threatened to kill them, according to court records.

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