Man Charged with Criminal Homicide

Police, DA say Man Killed Woman, Baby

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


A Bradford man is facing two criminal homicide charges in connection with the deaths of a woman and her baby last week in their Pleasant Street home.

38-year-old Waide Eugene Nolf of 56 Pleasant St. is accused of killing 24-year-old Tonya Haight and 3 1/2-week old Tamara Haight, also of 56 Pleasant St., on March 19.

Nolf is being held in McKean County Jail in Smethport without bail after being arraigned by District Judge Dom Cercone.

Although Nolf lived in the same house as the victims, McKean County District Attorney Ray Learn said he can't comment in detail on the relationship they had.

Learn, along with Pennsylvania State Police Information Officer Bruce Morris and acting Bradford City Police Chief Lt. Carl Milks, held a news conference Saturday morning in Bradford City Hall.

Learn did say Nolf was "one of several persons of interest" in the case, and Morris said "all avenues were looked at."

He added that just because an arrest has been make, this is "very much an active investigation."

Learn also said details on how the victims died won't be released until after they receive results of the autopsy and toxicology tests.

Learn, Morris, Milks and Bradford Mayor Tom Riel all commended Bradford City Police Officer Chris Lucco for doing a "fantastic" job in the investigation.

"I'd like to commend Officer Lucco on the extreme professionalism he showed in this situation," Milks said, noting that he also wanted to thank all officers who assisted Lucco. "Pennsylvania State Police provided a wealth of assistance to us, as well as the district attorney's office, Ray Learn and Detective Gerry Okerlund. Everyone involved did a fantastic, bang-up job -- an excellent job."

Riel noted that Lucco had not taken a day off since March 19.

"He's worked every single day," Riel said. "He's got 100-plus hours in on this case."

"That's phenomenal, that kind of time put in" Morris added. "That's above and beyond."

"A ruthless pursuit of solving this," Milks added. "He was headstrong about it and he followed through."

"Everything worked exactly how it was supposed to," Morris said, noting the work done by city police, the district attorney's office and the coroner's office.

Before the news conference, Learn and Morris said they can't remember the last time Bradford had two open homicide investigations at the same time.

On September 13, Megan Konopka and her unborn baby were killed in a room at the Riddell House.

During the news conference, they said the crimes shouldn't be a reflection on safety issues in Bradford.

Riel asked people to keep in mind that it's the second murder in eight years, not simply the second murder in six months.

"The City of Bradford is just as safe as any other place," Riel said. "It doesn't shed a bad light on Bradford in that it's not a safe place to live."

Morris said not just in Bradford, but anywhere, "it's a cause for concern when things like this happen."

"Times have changed. (People) are going to have to be a little bit more aware of their surroundings," he said.

"It's sad it has to be that way, but I don't think it's a direct reflection on the City of Bradford. I don't think it's a direct reflection on our area in general," Morris added. "If everybody could see exactly what the lifestyle is (in north central Pennsylvania) and how we live here I think it would be a lot more populated."

(Photo by Anne Holliday)

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