Police: Woman stabbed to death by nephew inside Conshohocken home

Katherine Scott Image
Sunday, December 18, 2016
EMBED <>More Videos

Police: Woman stabbed to death by nephew

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (WPVI) -- Montgomery County authorities have arrested the 28-year-old nephew of a woman stabbed to death in Conshohocken.

Matthew Wertz has been charged with first-degree murder and related charges in the stabbing death of his aunt, 60-year-old Catherine Wanamaker.

Police say Wertz had just been released from jail when he brutally stabbed the victim.

Police responded at 5:14 a.m. Friday to the 900 block of Hallowell Street for a report of a disturbance.

Upon arrival, police forced their way into the home, and found the victim lying on the floor with multiple stab wounds.

The coroner said she was stabbed almost 40 times. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

They also found Wertz kneeling several feet away, and observed him stabbing himself in his throat area.

Police were able to disarm him, and he was taken to Lankenau Hospital for treatment.

Neighbors watched as police forced their way inside the home.

"My husband said he thought he saw like a sledgehammer the police were using to break down the door. I think there were three or four police cars here," said Andrea Griffith, who lives nearby.

You could see the knocked-off doorknob, debris from the door, Christmas decorations hung from the porch and a sign supporting Conshohocken police in the front flower bed.

"I'm just blown away. That kind of stuff just doesn't happen in this neighborhood. It's very quiet, it's peaceful, there's a lot of college kids running around. It's just a young neighborhood. I can't believe it," said Jared Baum of Plymouth Meeting.

Throughout the morning and into the afternoon investigators from Conshohocken and the county remained on the scene as they investigated her death and the motive behind the stabbing.

"It's pretty scary. Obviously not knowing the circumstances of if it was personal or whatever, but it's certainly something alarming because this is a really safe town," said Griffith.

Bail was denied for Wertz. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Dec. 29.