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Family and community heartbroken over stabbing death

UPDATE:  State Police in Hazleton say the Death of Sandra Lee Montanari has been ruled a homicide.  A 17 year old juvenile is being charged as an adult.  He was arraigned and will be incarcerated police say will be incarcerated at Luzerne County Prison after his release from the hospital,  Allen Montarnari, the victim's son who was also injured,  has been treated and released from the hospital,  

 

 

BLACK CREEK TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) State police responded to a deadly family fight just before 7 a.m. Friday. Leaving a family heartbroken and a community in shock. 


"It's unbelievable. Not the way you want to hear what happened to a family member," said Kimberly Gower, daughter of the victim. 

Gower still can't believe this is her new reality. State police found her 66-year-old mother, Sandra, stabbed to death inside her home on Market Street. 

"My mom was a wonderful lady. Everyone knows her as Nana," said Gower. 

The victim leaves behind six kids and 16 grandchildren.  Two of them were inside the house when the family feud went down. 

Gower tells me her 43-year-old brother, Allan, and 17-year-old nephew were also inside the home.  Police say the teenager is the prime suspect. 


"He has some issues in the past. It's not unknown. It's just that when you try to ask people for help -- the system failed is all I can say," said Gower. 

Gower tells me the grandmother and grandson had a good, loving relationship. 


"She'd probably give him the first off her  back, the last food she could eat. I just think that he was troubled," said Gower. 

Both Gower's brother and nephew sustained injuries, and were taken to the hospital.  They were also taken into custody. 

Neighbors watched from their windows as cop cars blocked off Market Street. 


"It's just a sad situation that it happened at all," said Debbie Hower, neighbor. 


"It's just very shocking for a small town," said Dan Tolotti, local business owner.  "You never do know what happens behind closed doors."

That investigation is ongoing.  An autopsy has been scheduled for tomorrow with the Luzerne County Coroner's Office. 

   
 


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