Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 25, 2002 · Page 3
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 3

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, October 25, 2002
Page 3
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®l|c <3lni>taua dwaettc STATE Friday, October 25, 2002 — Page 3 Son gone since parents' murder STATE COLLEGE (AP) — Police say a Centre County man wanted in connection with his parents' deaths was last seen on a bus headed for Philadelphia, where he once lived. Police said Thursday that Daniel Opdenhoff, 24, of College Township, left the area Sunday morning on a bus bound for Philadelphia, although his current location was not known. Arrest warrants were issued Wednesday for Opdenhoff, who is accused of using his parents' bank cards to withdraw money from their accounts" shortly after they were killed. Authorities have been searching for Opdenhoff since Monday morning, when William and Georgeann Opdenhoff were found dead in the living room of their home in College Township, Centre County. An autopsy indicated the two died from blunt-force trauma to their skulls Saturday night, but State College police Lt. Diane Conrad would not say Thursday whether investigators considered Daniel Opdenhoff a suspect or whether they had identified the weapon used to murder the couple. The warrants, issued Wednesday, charge Opdenhoff with felony unlawful use of a computer and several misdemeanor charges, including identity theft, access device fraud, theft by deception and receiving stolen property. The charges stem from bank records and surveillance videotapes that, police' said, show Daniel Op- denhoff tried eight times Saturday night and Sunday morning to withdraw money from the couple's accounts using their bank cards at four automatic teller machines. Three tries were unsuccessful, but he was able to withdraw $700. Court documents indicated that William Opdenhoff's wallet had been forcibly removed from his trouser pocket. Attempts on Thursday to reach Georgeann Opdenhoff's mother, Dr. Jane Smith, of Coaiport, and the Op- denhoffs' daughter, Kristen, were DANIEL OPDENHOFF ... Wanted for fraud ... unsuccessful. Smith was reached Wednesday by the Centre Daily Times of State College, but would not talk about her grandson or the investigation. "We all loved them very dearly," she said of her daughter and son-in- law. "Their memories will be ever with us." Records in Centre County show only one prior conviction for Daniel Opdenhoff on a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief. He pleaded guilty in January 1998, six months after he bought spray paint for a juvenile whom he knew planned to use the paint for graffiti. Opdenhoff — who was living in Philadelphia at the time —• was sentenced to one year on probation and ordered to pay more than $1,300 in restitution, fines and administrative costs. William Opdenhoff was superintendent of the Danville Area School District from 1983 through 1993, when he became superintendent of the State College Area School District He retired in 1999, but continued to work as an education consultant. Georgeann Opdenhoff was employed as an instructional support teacher at a Centre County elementary school. Investigators have described Daniel Opdenhoff as 5-foot-ll, 150 pounds, with short blond hair, blue eyes and possibly a short beard. In the ATM surveillance videos, he was wearing a windowpane print shirt under a dark coat. Police advised anyone who sees him to call 911. Fisher uses hometown approach By DAN NEPHIN Associated Press Writer PITTSBURGH — Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Fisher is running ads in Pittsburgh that play to folks in his hometown, apparently in the hope that his roots — and preference for a local sandwich over a Philly cheesesteak — can help him beat the odds and defeat Democrat Edward G. Rendell. Fisher opens the ad by saying that, like most Pittsburghers, he has strong opinions. He goes on to say he favors Pirates great Roberto Clemente, the 1975 Steelers and Penguins owner and star Mario Lemieux over other sports icons. The ad ends with Fisher saying, "And one more thing, I'd take a Pri- manti's sandwich over a Philly cheesesteak any day of the week." Duquesne University law professor and political analyst Joseph Sabino Mistick said Thursday, "He's saying, 'Pittsburghers rally around me,' because I'm sure his numbers show he's not in the race in the other end of the state." The sandwiches by Primanti Brothers, a small chain of restaurants, contain french fries and coleslaw piled atop a choice of meats and cheeses and are strongly identi- "Fd take a Primanti's sandwich over a Phillly cheesesteak any day of the week." — Mike Fisher, gubernatorial candidate fied with Pittsburgh. Rendell, the former Philadelphia mayor, is known for his love for Philly cheesesteaks — sometimes picking the beef and cheese out of his roil in an effort to cut down on carbohydrates. "It's pretty clear that (Fisher has) thrown in the towel," Mistick said of the ad. "It is a sign that much of the commonwealth has been conceded." Steven Peterson, a professor of politics and public affairs at Penn State University's Harrisburg campus, agreed: "I think we're beginning to look at Hail Marys." Rendell has held a double-digit lead in a series of independent polls taken in the past month. Fisher, meanwhile, has cut back on television advertising in Philadelphia. In the ad, Fisher also says that while Rendell has talked about raising the income tax, Fisher has signed a pledge to oppose any tax increase. Previously, both candidates said they REMINISCE WITH THOSE OLD PHOTOS, SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS Anniversary Bridal Sale SAVE up to 60% AMERICA'S TOP WEDDING GOWNS KAUFMAN'S Philadelphia Street • Near the Courthouse DOWNTOWN INDIANA (724) 465-4242 THIS WEEK MON.-FRI. 10 to 8 • SAT. 10 to 6 • SUN. 12 to 6 hoped to avoid tax increases, and neither was willing to sign a no-tax pledge. Rendell's campaign spokesman Dan Fee called the ad, "Desperate tactics for a desperate candidate." "Mike's been running around saying that Ed Rendell will only take care of Philadelphia and now he's going around saying he'll only take care of Pittsburgh," he said. "The state can no longer handle candidates who try to divide." Kent Gates, Fisher's campaign manager, said the advertisement "is an opportunity for Mike to talk about his opinions, particularly about taxes." Gates said he doesn't know how anyone could think the ad is a sign of Pittsburgh favoritism. "Mike Fisher likes a Philly cheeses- teak as well and has been to Geno's in South Philadelphia... and this was just a light way of drawing a distinction that he is the candidate from Pittsburgh," Gates said. "Rendell has campaigned that he's from Philly." Ceno Vento, the son of Geno's Steaks owner Joe Vento, held a Philly cheesesteak in south Philadelphia. 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