AG Shapiro Announces Guilty Verdict in State College Cold Case

November 7, 2022 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that a South Carolina man has been found guilty of the murder of Jean Tuggy, 60, who was shot in her Pine Grove Mills home on January 21, 2016.

“Jean died several years ago and her family has not had closure since,” said AG Shapiro. “Thanks to the diligent efforts of our lawyers, investigators, and fellow members of law enforcement who never gave up on this case, Christopher Kowalski is being held accountable for his actions. We hope today’s guilty verdict brings justice to the Tuggy family and helps them heal.”

Jean Tuggy was found deceased in her home on January 21, 2016, after being shot two times with a 9mm pistol. After an initial investigation, the case went cold. Five years later, as part of an effort to solve old murder cases, the Attorney General’s Office picked up this case and reviewed it anew. Agents then identified Tuggy’s former Wegman’s coworker, Christopher Kowalski, 35, as a potential suspect.

Investigators learned that Jean Tuggy had developed a friendship with Kowalski and he became romantically interested in her. Investigators also learned that, at the time of the murder, Kowalski owned a 9mm pistol that he later sold. The pistol was tracked to its new owner, who turned over the weapon to police. Examination of the weapon revealed that it had many of the same traits as the identified murder weapon.

Following the murder, Kowalski moved to South Carolina, where he now lives. When he was located and visited by OAG agents, Kowalski admitted to the murder. He was arrested and extradited to Pennsylvania to be prosecuted.

The matter was investigated by OAG Special Agent Chris Weaver, and Detective Caleb Clouse from the Ferguson Township Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Kelly Sekula and Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte.

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