Homicide

Man charged in 1980 slayings of Pennsylvania mother, daughter shot after house set afire

  • Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Jonathan Mays, left, and Adams County District Attorney Shawn C. Wager speak during a news conference, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Gettysburg, Pa., regarding two counts of criminal homicide filed against 54-year-old Abraham Cruz Jr. in connection with the Aug. 30, 1980, deaths of a mother and her daughter. Prosecutors say Cruz shot and killed 17-year-old Deborah Patterson and her mother, Nancy Patterson, during an early morning burglary at their home in Freedom Township, Adams County, near Gettysburg. (Shane Dunlap/The Evening Sun via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Jonathan Mays, left, and Adams County District Attorney Shawn C. Wager speak during a news conference, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Gettysburg, Pa., regarding two counts of criminal homicide filed against 54-year-old Abraham Cruz Jr. in connection with the Aug. 30, 1980, deaths of a mother and her daughter. Prosecutors say Cruz shot and killed 17-year-old Deborah Patterson and her mother, Nancy Patterson, during an early morning burglary at their home in Freedom Township, Adams County, near Gettysburg. (Shane Dunlap/The Evening Sun via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • Prosecutors display a photograph of Abraham Cruz Jr. during a news conference, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Gettysburg, Pa., as they annoucned two counts of criminal homicide filed against the 54-year-old Cruz in connection with the Aug. 30, 1980, deaths of a mother and her daughter. Prosecutors say Cruz shot and killed 17-year-old Deborah Patterson and her mother, Nancy Patterson, during an early morning burglary at their home in Freedom Township, Adams County, near Gettysburg. (Shane Dunlap/The Evening Sun via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Prosecutors display a photograph of Abraham Cruz Jr. during a news conference, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Gettysburg, Pa., as they annoucned two counts of criminal homicide filed against the 54-year-old Cruz in connection with the Aug. 30, 1980, deaths of a mother and her daughter. Prosecutors say Cruz shot and killed 17-year-old Deborah Patterson and her mother, Nancy Patterson, during an early morning burglary at their home in Freedom Township, Adams County, near Gettysburg. (Shane Dunlap/The Evening Sun via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • This photograph taken Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, shows the home near Gettysburg, Pa., where prosecutors say Abraham Cruz Jr. shot and killed a mother and her daughter on Aug. 30, 1980, during an early morning burglary in Freedom Township, Adams County. Prosecutors held a news conference Tuesday to discuss two counts of criminal homicide filed against the 54-year-old Cruz. (Shane Dunlap/The Evening Sun via AP)

    This photograph taken Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, shows the home near Gettysburg, Pa., where prosecutors say Abraham Cruz Jr. shot and killed a mother and her daughter on Aug. 30, 1980, during an early morning burglary in Freedom Township, Adams County. Prosecutors held a news conference Tuesday to discuss two counts of criminal homicide filed against the 54-year-old Cruz. (Shane Dunlap/The Evening Sun via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Authorities in southern Pennsylvania are charging a man in a 35-year-old double homicide, saying he shot and killed a mother and her daughter during an early morning burglary.

Adams County prosecutors and state police said Tuesday that 54-year-old Abraham Cruz Jr. is charged with two counts of criminal homicide in the 1980 slayings of 17-year-old Deborah Patterson and her mother, Nancy Patterson.

Prosecutors say the arrest of two others in recent years helped lead them to Cruz.

Authorities say two men broke into the Pattersons' home outside Gettysburg at around 3 a.m. on Aug. 30, 1980, and set fire to the kitchen. They say the two women were shot and killed as they tried to flee. Nancy Patterson's husband was also shot, but survived.

Court officials didn't know of a lawyer representing Cruz.