Boyfriend of murdered NJ woman found dead in barn, prosecutors say
FLORENCE — The boyfriend of a murdered woman has been found dead inside a vehicle in a barn and died by suicide, officials say.
According to Burlington County prosecutors, a preliminary investigation has found that Peter Lestician's body was discovered on Friday by two men riding four-wheelers along an ATV trail in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.
PA State Police were called to an abandoned barn in Cooper Township around 4 p.m. and found his body in the front seat of a locked vehicle.
PA State Police listed Lestician's death as a suicide.
Lestician, 53, was a person of interest in the death of his longtime girlfriend Sheila Maguire, 54, who was found dead in her Florence home on Monday. While authorities say he was possibly the last person to see Maguire alive, no charges had been filed against Lestician and prosecutors say there is no direct evidence linking him to the homicide.
Investigators say they are working with the district attorney's office in Pennsylvania to gain permission to search the vehicle and confirm the body's identity. The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office says it will continue to investigate Maguire's homicide.
An autopsy found that Maguire was killed by blunt force trauma to her head at her home on Birch Hollow Drive, prosecutors say. Maguire and Lestician lived together at the home. Maguire's daughters requested police to make a wellness check at the home Monday after not hearing from their mother for several days, according to prosecutors.
Previous reports said that Lestician had not been seen since last weekend. Prosecutors confirmed that he had not made contact with any family members since Aug. 26.
Maguire's social media posts say that the couple met around eight years ago when Lestician was a coach for her daughter's softball team. He led Hightstown High School to its first state title in his second year as coach and was named NJ.com's Softball Coach of the Year in 2019.
Includes previous reporting from Dan Alexander and Dino Flammia.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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