Fifteen years ago today, Girard firefighters responded to a blaze at the Dearborn Street duplex where Lena Cross, 22, lived with her two children.
Police Chief John Norman was a detective at the time and recalled walking into the home and seeing a figure on the couch.
“It wasn’t pleasant, but I didn’t have any suspicions at the time,” Norman recalled in an interview at his Girard office last week. “I thought maybe somebody fell asleep smoking a cigarette.”
Authorities, including members of the state fire marshal and the county fire inspector’s unit, discovered all three had died. It wasn’t until later that they learned Cross had been stabbed multiple times on the first floor of the home and the fire was deliberately set to cover up the crime.
Read more: vindy.com