Tube City Community Media Inc. is seeking freelance writers to help cover city council, news and feature stories in McKeesport, Duquesne, White Oak and the neighboring communities. High school and college students seeking work experience are encouraged to apply; we are willing to work with students who need credit toward class assignments. Please send cover letter, resume, two writing samples and the name of a reference (an employer, supervisor, teacher, etc. -- not a relative) to tubecitytiger@gmail.com.

To place your ad, email tubecitytiger@gmail.com.
Ads start at $1 per day, minimum seven days.

Reward Offered for Capture of Woman’s Killer

Family, police urge witnesses to come forward

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
September 23, 2021
Posted in: Crime and Police News

“I don’t know if I can ever find peace” if the murderer of Karli Short (right) isn’t brought to justice, said her father, Brandon Short. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of her killer. (Submitted photo courtesy Short family)

The family of a pregnant woman found shot to death at her Christy Park home are hoping that a reward will entice someone to come forward with information that leads to the arrest of her killer.

At a memorial service Thursday morning at Renziehausen Park attended by friends, local officials and police, the family of Karli Short, 26, announced the $20,000 reward had been put up by Richard Bazzy, owner of Shults Ford.

Short’s body was found Sept. 13. Short was pregnant with a boy — her first child — at the time of her death, according to the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office. She was due to give birth in February 2022.

“We know the narrative,” said Short’s cousin, Troy Blackwell, a coach at McKeesport Area High School. “We know the first things that were in people’s heads. That wasn’t the case at all with her.

“That completely wasn’t her,” he said. “There wasn’t any underhanded stuff that she was involved in.”

About 40 people attended Thursday’s prayer service, which was led by the Rev. Earlene Coleman, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Coleman also was the celebrant at Short’s funeral service on Saturday.

Allegheny County police are investigating the killing, and two homicide detectives attended the prayer service, along with McKeesport police.

Detectives have so far released little information about the case.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said police have developed leads but are reluctant to share them publicly for fear of jeopardizing the investigation.

Police are working on the theory that Short knew the person who shot her, Cherepko said.

“Without going into details, I know they have talked to potential suspects, and they are digging, but this is a complicated one,” he said.

A ShotSpotter gunshot detector picked up the sound of gunfire in the Christy Park neighborhood at 3:23 a.m. Sept. 13, the mayor said. Short’s body was discovered at her 25th Avenue home about seven hours later, at 10:30 a.m.

She had been shot once in the head, according to the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office.

“Typically when you have a shooting, you hear fairly soon who might have been responsible,” Cherepko said. “When it’s more like this type of situation, it’s harder to connect the dots. It’s harder to get information from the street as well.”

Karli Short’s death made national news because of her father’s football career. She was the daughter of Brandon Short, an investment banker and a member of the Penn State University board of trustees.

A graduate of McKeesport Area High School, where he was a standout athlete, Short went onto play football at Penn State, where he was named defensive MVP in the 1998 Citrus Bowl and earned All-American honors his senior year.

He played professional football for the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers, and was a member the Giants' team that played in Super Bowl XXXV.

“I don’t know if I can ever find peace if we don’t catch the people who did this to her,” Brandon Short said Thursday. “I want the criminals and anyone who is keeping their secrets to know that our quest for justice will not go away until we track down her killer.”

In addition to her father, Short leaves behind her mother, Krista; a brother and sister; grandparents, aunts and uncles; and cousins, many of whom remain in the area.

Blackwell, who is serving as the family’s spokesperson, said Short kept the name of her baby’s father private, and had told only a few relatives and close friends.

The family had recently grieved the loss of an aunt, Blackwell said, and he had last seen Short at the funeral.

But his father — Short’s uncle — called her twice a week, and family members became concerned Sept. 13 when Short didn’t answer her phone that day.

Short had worked at a personal care home and in daycare, and also had a small catering business, Blackwell said.

“She loved people, she loved kids, she was excited to be a mother, she loved throwing parties and holding events for people,” he said. “She was a real people person — she never had a bad day. Always smiling. Would go out of her way to make sure everyone was happy. It was a joy to be around her.”

Her murder doesn’t make sense, Blackwell said, and has left the family reeling.

“We need someone to speak up so that the police can move forward,” he said.

Brandon Short said that anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of his daughter’s killer can remain anonymous.

“We will protect your identity,” he said. “Please come forward.”

Blackwell said too many Mon Valley residents know of violent crimes that go unsolved because witnesses won’t speak.

“It happens all too often — it’s much of the narrative in our city,” he said. “Maybe Karli’s death and this tragedy can spark a change and someone will step forward.”

Cherepko said he hopes the reward is enough incentive for anyone with information to speak up.

“When the community does not cooperate, does not get involved, you almost enable future acts of violence, in my opinion,” he said. “Until these individuals ... realize there are people who will talk, who are willing to come forward — they're going to think they have the freedom to go after someone.”

Tips can be submitted at countypolicetipsline@alleghenycounty.us or at 1-833-ALL-TIPS.

Jason Togyer is editor of Tube City Almanac and volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc. He may be reached at jtogyer@gmail.com.

Originally published September 23, 2021.

In other news:
"Three Charged in Renz…" || "W.O. Makes Plans for …"