EDWARDSVILLE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Edwardsville community is still trying to wrap their minds around the news that Kurt Swan was murdered.
It’s especially hard for the employees at the dollar tree in the West Side Mall… a spot where Swan would bring his dog Peanut and sit out front, often times eating lunch with the workers.
“He did not deserve to be murdered the way he was,” said Amanda Wolfe, friend.
Amanda Wolfe now works at the Dollar Tree, but a year ago, she was alone and homeless. That’s when Swan stepped in, protecting her in the woods and teaching her how to survive.
“I called him Uncle Kurt all the time. He was like family to me,” said Wolfe.
“He was more than a homeless person on the street, he was a brother to us,” said Pat Wallace, Church on the Square.
To many people he met, he felt like a member of the family, which is why such a large crowd came to his vigil.
“We miss him. We really miss him,” said a friend.
At the vigil, the crowd recalled memories and prayed. They prayed that Swan could rest in peace, but they also prayed for answers.
“I hope they do catch the person that did it,” said the manager of the Dollar Tree.
The group also prayed for change. Change that the community will start looking at homeless people differently.
“They call us outcasts, the black sheep of the family, and that’s what Kurt was,” said Wolfe.
She tells me becoming homeless can happen to anyone, just like it happened to her.
Swan was known for being an animal lover– always putting his dog, Peanut, before himself. When he was killed, Peanut ran away, but she’s been found and is now living with a family with three young children to play with.
“I hope he’s looking down and feels at peace knowing that she’s loved and cared for,” said Nicole Covage, helped Peanut find a loving home.
A memorial service is scheduled next weekend at the church Swan attended. Anyone– regardless of religion– is invited to come and pray for him at Church on the Square in Wilkes-Barre next Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock.
State Police Wyoming are heading the investigation into the murder of Kurt Swan. Anyone with information about the homicide should call the barracks or 911.