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County police are investigating the shooting death of the owner of a Route 51 motel and roadside landmark.
Allegheny County Police said officers responding to a 9-1-1 emergency call at 4:15 a.m. today found the victim behind the front desk of the Jefferson Hills Motel in Jefferson Hills, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Although the victim's name was not released, he was identified as the 78-year-old "owner of the establishment."
Property tax records list the owner of the Jefferson Hills Motel as Dehnad "Danny" Taiedi, also known as "Chief." He and his late wife, Linda, purchased the hotel in 2001 for $250,000.
Police said it appears that Taiedi was the victim of a robbery before the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call the Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit at (412) 473-1300. Callers can remain anonymous.
In a 2001 story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writer Brian O'Neil explained that construction of the 26-room motel actually began in the 1950s, when a man named Claude Kauffman began building it, alone, by himself, but that he'd never finished it and opened it.
The Taiedis completed the construction after Kauffman died in 2000 at age 92 and opened it in October 2001.
The motel's stone lodge and red and green neon sign have since become conspicious near the entrance to Jefferson Regional Medical Center.
Linda Taiedi died in September 2013. The Taiedis also owned the Some Place Else Bar in Baldwin and the Saddlebrook Stables in South Park Twp., according to published reports.
(Photo by Macwagen via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.)
Originally published May 27, 2016.