Coroner: No trauma to woman’s body
NORTHERN CAMBRIA – Despite a coroner’s report that showed no evidence of foul play in the death of a Northern Cambria woman, officials said investigators will continue to treat the case as a homicide.
Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski said an autopsy performed Monday morning showed “no signs of trauma” in the death of 30-year-old Amanda Sherry-Griffon.
Police said Sherry-Griffon’s body likely had lain in a wooded area off Grace Street in Susquehanna Township for days, before being found by the landowners Saturday evening about 8 p.m.
She was pronounced dead at the scene about 10 p.m.
Kwiatkowski said toxicology tests are pending and could take weeks. In the meantime, officials will continue to investigate the death as a homicide, he said.
“Until we get all the results back … we’re at a standstill,” he said.
Funeral arrangements also are pending, Kwiatkowski said.
According to court documents, the Cambria County Probation Department had filed a petition to revoke Sherry-Griffon’s bond Thursday – although she may have already been dead.
Sherry-Griffon was arrested by Northern Cambria Borough police March 12 on simple assault and disorderly conduct charges and sent to Cambria County Prison.
She was released April 2 after her attorney petitioned the court to release her on her own recognizance.
The case was awaiting a pre-trial conference.
Sherry-Griffon also was charged twice last year with use of drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct, but the drug charges were later withdrawn, and the disorderly conduct charges were settled as non-traffic citations.
She pleaded guilty in May and July 2013 on separate charges of passing bad checks.
According to an affidavit of probable cause submitted by state police for a search warrant, when Northern Cambria Borough police arrived at Sherry-Griffon’s 250 Holly St. apartment on Saturday about 4 p.m., they found the door to the apartment open.
Sherry-Griffon’s mother allegedly told police her daughter had been living there with a man named Clayton Francis Shultz, 34.
Police said they expected to find Shultz at the home; the apartment was empty, but there was “a large amount of blood” in the bathroom. It is unclear whose blood police found.
State police said borough officers immediately secured the scene to wait for a search warrant to collect the blood and look for “trace evidence, evidence of a crime [and] items illegally possessed.”
The search warrant was granted Sunday afternoon by Magisterial District Judge John Barron.
Police later arrested Shultz, who was wanted on two Cambria County Sheriff’s Office warrants: one for a probation violation and the other for failing to appear before Cambria County Judge Patrick Kiniry April 1 for a guilty plea in a November 2011 case.
Shultz was charged with criminal trespass and driving with a suspended or revoked license.
Cambria Township police also had arrested Sherry-Griffon’s estranged husband, Chance Daniel Griffon, 27, 243 Twenty Row Road, Colver, Monday morning in an unrelated incident.
Police said Griffon, apparently while drunk, allegedly tried to force his way into a home. When the resident wouldn’t let Griffon in, he tried to attack her and another person, police said.
Charged with simple assault and summary charges of public drunkenness, harassment, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief, Griffon also is housed in Cambria County Prison.
Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.