BUENA VISTA, Pennsylvania – A 13-year-old girl used a shotgun to fatally shoot her father in the head early Monday in a home overrun with animals and filth, police said.
The girl told investigators she used a 12-gauge shotgun to shoot 34-year-old Matthew Booth in the face while he was in bed, according to a police affidavit.
A police complaint did not identify a motive in the killing, but her mother, Michelle Fazek, who was separated from Booth, said she had complained several times to county child welfare officials that her daughter and her brother, 14, were living in squalor and that her daughter had been abused.
"I just want to see her," Fazek said. "She must be so scared."
Messages left for Allegheny County's Office of Children, Youth and Families were not immediately returned.
The Associated Press does not identify victims of possible sexual abuse.
The girl appeared in municipal court late Monday wearing a maroon county jail uniform, her hands and ankles cuffed, where she was charged as an adult with criminal homicide and ordered held without bail.
The house in Elizabeth Township, about 20 miles southeast of Pittsburgh was in deplorable condition, police said.
"They had a number of animals, dogs, cats and rabbits. They hadn't cleaned up after them," said James Morton, assistant superintendent of Allegheny County Police. The two-story frame house had dirty, peeling white siding, and a downstairs window was boarded up.
Matthew Booth's neighbor Suzanne Gruber told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the girl had told her she had killed her father because she "just couldn't take it any more." Gruber said the girl also told her she had been abused.
In an interview with KDKA-TV, Gruber said the girl said "she messed up the house to make it look like somebody had broken in and she ended up shooting him in the face."
Gloria Brown, who lives two houses down from the Booth house, said the family moved in last year. She said she offered to let the girl, who seemed shy, stay at her home.
"I just know something wasn't right at the house," Brown said. She said she last saw the girl Sunday making a sandwich for her father at a birthday celebration at the Brown house.
"I was totally shocked when it happened," Brown said.