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Man swindled $30K from 83-year-old friend then killed him, Pennsylvania officials say

In World
April 19, 2024

Officials in Pennsylvania have arrested a man who they say swindled his friend of 35 years out of $30,000 then killed him.

On April 13, Pennsylvania State Police began investigating a missing person report for 83-year-old Anthony Dicenzo, who was last seen the morning before, Fayette County District Attorney Mike Aubele said at an April 17 news conference streamed by WTAE.

Around 10:20 a.m., authorities found his vehicle in a gravel area off the road in German Township, Aubele said. Inside, they found Dicenzo dead.

“His body was laid across the back seat, covered in a tarp,” Aubele said.

Officials say Dicenzo was shot twice in the head. They believe he was shot in the driver’s seat, then moved to the back seat. A Disney “Frozen” blanket along with a trash bag was found covering the driver’s seat, Aubele said.

After taking Dicenzo’s cellphone, authorities found contact information for Norman Fred Pennington.

McClatchy News reached out to Pennington’s attorney but did not immediately hear back.

“Troopers interviewed Mr. Pennington, who indicated he knew the victim but had not seen him since Thursday, April 11,” Aubele said.

However, after investigating, authorities determined that was not true.

“Troopers obtained multiple search warrants for cellular phone data and video surveillance and obtained statements from the family and friends of Mr. Dicenzo,” Aubele said.

Officials say Dicenzo was upset with Pennington over a large amount of money.

“They were able to determine that the victim was upset about approximately $30,000 he gave to Mr. Pennington for the purpose of purchasing a property, for which Mr. Pennington never acted upon,” Aubele said.

Cellphone data showed Dicenzo went to Pennington’s home the day he went missing for about an hour, officials said. Then, he traveled to the area his body was found.

Officials said Pennington’s wife told them he owned a “Frozen” blanket that he regularly kept in his vehicle.

She also told authorities that on the day Dicenzo went missing, Pennington called and asked her to meet him at an intersection. When she got there, he was driving Dicenzo’s car, and she followed him to the location where his body was later found, officials said.

After further questioning, Pennington admitted to swindling Dicenzo out of $30,000. He told officials Dicenzo confronted him and he shot and killed Dicenzo in self-defense, but officials say they have no evidence of this, Aubele said.

Pennington is charged with criminal homicide, possession of firearm and tampering with evidence, according to court records.

German Township is about a 50-mile drive south of Pittsburgh.

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