A man was charged Wednesday with killing and dismembering his mother and stepfather, whose body parts were found in trash bags and containers inside their home.
Frederick C. Harris is facing two counts each of criminal homicide and abuse of a corpse in the deaths of 73-year-old Olivia and 76-year-old Lamar Gilbert. He is scheduled to be arraigned early Thursday; online court records don't list an attorney for him.
Neighbors told police that the 47-year-old Harris had been living in the couple's Penn Hills home recently. Olivia Gilbert's daughter asked police to check on the couple Tuesday afternoon after they hadn't been heard from since Saturday.
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After the daughter forced open the door, police found Harris unresponsive under the covers and in bed, they say. Authorities say they took Harris to a hospital, where doctors found nothing wrong with him and police discovered an unusual note in his pocket:
"Hello Fred Thanks for house sitting and fixing up the place while we are on vacation. See You soon, tell everyone hello. Mr and Mrs Gilbert Lamar PS Don't answer the door for anyone."
After Harris was hospitalized, Penn Hills police found remnants of a carpet that appeared to be bloodstained and more than a half dozen garbage cans in the garage, four of which appeared to be new. Among other things, the trash cans contained a man's torso with stab wounds, the victims' heads and two sets of feet and hands, police said.
Investigators didn't find a woman's torso or arms, nor did they find a man's arms.
With search warrants, detectives found receipts for four garbage containers purchased Monday and Tuesday afternoon and a section of the laundry room floor that appeared to be wiped clean, police said.
Surveillance video from a Home Depot store showed Harris buying the garbage cans, police said.
"Five bloodied large kitchen knives were also recovered. The blades were bent and in some of the knives the handles were broken," according to the criminal complaint.
Authorities who questioned Harris said he "sat upright in the chair with his eyes closed and refused to speak or acknowledge detectives." Police also noticed a fresh cut on Harris' right palm.
Harris was convicted of insurance fraud in 2009 and of harassment in 2012, according to online court records. Details of those cases weren't immediately available.
At the time of his arrest, Harris was also wanted for a parole violation in a 2011 squatter's case in neighboring Westmoreland County. He received five to 23 months in jail after pleading guilty to criminal trespass in Murrysville, where police say he removed a for-sale sign from a $500,000 home and moved in without permission.