Burlington County Prosecutor: ‘Person of interest’ in Florence homicide found dead of apparent suicide in Pennsylvania

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A man – who was in a relationship and allegedly believed to be the last person to be with the Florence woman who was found dead in her home – was found dead in Pennsylvania, according to Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Florence Township Police Chief Brian Boldizar.

Law enforcement officials said the man, Peter Lestician, 53, appeared to have died by suicide. His body was found discovered in a vehicle by an abandoned barn near an ATV trail in Cooper Township in Clearfield County, Pa. on Sept. 2, according to a press release through the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.

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Lestician was a physical education teacher at South Brunswick High School and a softball coach in Hightstown, according to reports.

Pennsylvania State Police troopers were called to scene at approximately 4 p.m. by two men riding four-wheelers in the area. Upon arrival, they discovered the body of an adult male in the front seat of the vehicle, which was locked. The troopers reported no signs of foul play, according to the press release.

A body was preliminarily identified as Lestician, who was allegedly the last known person to have seen Shelia Maguire, 54, alive before she was killed inside her home, according to the press release.

Florence police discovered the body of Maguire late afternoon on Aug. 29 after family members requested a wellness check at her residence in the 200 block of Birch Hollow Drive because they had been unable to reach her for a few days, according to the press release.

An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined that she died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to the press release.

Lestician had allegedly not made contact with family members since Aug. 26. While he was a “person of interest” in Maguire’s homicide, there was no evidence linking him directly to the crime and charges had not been filed against him, according to the press release.

The investigation into Maguire’s homicide is ongoing. Detectives from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Unit are coordinating with the local district attorney’s office in Pennsylvania to gain permission to forensically examine the vehicle, according to the press release.

The investigation is being conducted by the Florence Township Police Department (FTPD), the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pennsylvania State Police. The lead investigators are Florence Police Detective Chris Powell and Detectives Shawn McDonough and Andrew Ridolfi of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.

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