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Waynesboro reacts to deaths

April 09, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- The bright floral tribute stood on a vacant lot at the edge of a brambled wood.

There was no name, no photos and no letters on the memorial to Kristy Dawn Hoke near the intersection of East Ninth Street and Clayton Avenue.

Police found the body of the 29-year-old Hagerstown woman in that wooded area Tuesday morning.

"Yeah, I read about that," John Kriner of Waynesboro said. "In fact, I live just a few blocks down from where that happened."

"It was unfortunate," Melissa March of Waynesboro said.

Police have charged Jeffrey Eldon Miles Sr., 47, of State Line, Pa., with criminal homicide in Hoke's death. He remained in Franklin County jail without bail Friday on one count of criminal homicide, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Tom Pinkerton said.

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Police said Thursday the investigation into Hoke's death led them to the remains of Waynesboro teen Angie Lynn Daley in western Washington Township near Waynecastle, Pa.

Daley was 17 when she went missing Aug. 24, 1995.

No charges had been filed in Daley's death as of Friday, Magisterial District Justice Larry Pentz said.

Despite ongoing investigations into both incidents, most residents said they still think Waynesboro is a safe place to live.

Robert Cole, an employee of the Borough of Waynesboro, said he walks the streets every day and does not fear for his or anyone's safety.

"It's a nice little town, quiet, not too much goes on around," Cole said. "Unfortunately, this went on here, but that happens everywhere."

Pinkerton assured residents that the public should not feel unsafe.

"The recent homicide arrest and discovery of skeletal remains should in no way infer the community is in danger," he said during a press conference Thursday. "We have no information to suggest that the community is in danger."

Washington Township Police Chief Barry Keller said major crime will have an effect on a community, especially if it does not frequently see such incidents.

"We are aware people are capable of committing such things, but I think deep down we are glad we don't see it very often," he said.

Keller said most people tend to believe police when they say there is no cause for concern.

"If there were anything to be concerned about with these incidents, state police would have (identified) it and given guidance as how to act," he said.

Regardless of assurances from police, Joe Hess of Waynesboro said the recent events have changed the way he feels about the place he has lived his whole life.

"Waynesboro started out as a nice town," he said. "You just don't know what will happen any more."

While he said he does not think town residents are in danger, he understands how someone could feel that way.

"You got to protect yourself," he said.

With modern forms of communication readily available, residents have an increased sense of security, Keller said.

Knowing that a child or loved one can be reached any time on a cell phone is a resource that police and the public did not have years ago, he said.

Vigil for Hoke planned for Sunday

Friends have planned a candlelight vigil Sunday to remember Kristy Dawn Hoke, the Hagerstown woman and mother of three who was found dead Tuesday in Waynesboro, Pa.

The vigil will be at the bridge by the lake in Hagerstown's City Park, said Wendy Churchey, a friend of Hoke's. She said people should arrive between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

Churchey and Kristen Riddle are organizing the vigil.

A memorial service for Hoke is planned for April 16 at 6 p.m. at Wilson Ruritan Club in Hagerstown, according to her obituary.

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