Double homicide remains unsolved

LEWISTOWN – On a cold November morning six years ago, two people were brutally killed, and two families were left to grieve.

The families of the late Jason Specht, 33, and Sherry Jo Leonard, 43, gathered in front of the Mifflin County Courthouse Monday afternoon for what was dubbed the “justice gathering.”

Specht and Leonard were killed in a mobile home along Route 522 in Granville Township on Nov. 25, 2007. They were discovered by firefighters and police officers about 4 a.m. after being summoned to Specht’s home for a reported fire.

By the time firefighters got to Specht’s residence, the home was almost fully engulfed in flames. Leonard was pronounced dead at the scene, and Specht died shortly thereafter at the emergency room at Lewistown Hospital.

One month later, Mifflin County Coroner Daniel P. Lynch ruled the deaths were homicides and said the cause of death for both victims was skull fractures that occurred prior to the start of the fire. According to initial reports, the bulk of the fire, which was ruled an arson, occurred in the bedroom area.

During Monday’s gathering, Leonard’s sister, Michele Huntsman, spoke to a large crowd gathered in support of the victims.

“We want the district attorney, investigators, community, and those responsible for this heinous crime to know that we are not giving up, and we will continue to fight this battle until there is an arrest, conviction and justice served,” Huntsman said.

Huntsman and other family members have grown frustrated with Mifflin County District Attorney Dave Molek, who said in 2012 he would request time to convene a grand jury through the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.

Molek’s predecessor Steve Snook had initially begun the process to seek time for a grand jury. To date Huntsman said Molek has not lived up to the statement he made last year in which he pledged to seek time with a grand jury.

Although he was not able to attend the event, Molek said he gets “one bite of the apple” in prosecuting the case.

Molek said there were two possibilities in pursuing a grand jury: either request time in Harrisburg or have one set up in Mifflin County. A grand jury can compel a person to testify under oath, who otherwise may not be willing to speak with law enforcement officials.

“[There were] two possible suspects, [and I] ruled out one just this past year. [That] leaves me with one primary suspect,” Molek said.

Anyone with information regarding this crime can contact the Pennsylvania State Police Lewistown at 320-1010 or Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers at (800) 4PA-TIPS.