Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murders of David and Carol Keeffe: Suspect and Arrest

Recap and Moving Forward

The victims, Carol and David Keeffe, ages 60 and 56 respectively, were shot and killed inside the garage of their Athens Township home on 300 heavily wooded acres off Moore Road in Bradford County, Pa., on Friday, November 17, 2006 — a week before Thanksgiving. The Keeffes had arrived at the residence that evening in separate cars. Their bodies were found by their daughter, Melissa, according to WBNG-TV. truTv's Crime Library covered the initial investigation extensively in the feature story, The Murders of David and Carol Keeffe: Preliminary Investigation.

Map of the properties around the Keeffe house at the time of the murders.
Map of the properties around the Keeffe house at the time of the murders.

The Keeffes' residence was one of three homes on a hilltop in an extremely isolated area along the border of northern Pennsylvania and southern New York. The other two hilltop residences, all on the same property, were occupied by Carol Keeffe's sister, Michele Witmer, and her family, and Carol Keeffe's parents, Michael and Anna DeSisti, according to authorities. None of the houses were visible to passersby on the main road, and visitors could only reach the houses by ascending a winding driveway slightly more than a half-mile long and blocked at the road by a security-key-enabled gate.

The Keeffe's home has since been demolished.

According to investigators, both victims were shot after exiting their respective vehicles, ambushed by their assailant: Carol first, and then David. The evidence indicates that Carol was shot from behind with a 12-guage shotgun, and David was shot facing his killer. After the initial shotgun blasts, which would have proved fatal by themselves according to authorities, each was then shot in the head at close range with what investigators believe was a .22-caliber handgun as each lay dying on the cold garage floor. Oddly, neither victims' personal effects were taken during the deadly assault, including $1,200 inside Carol's purse, making robbery seem an unlikely motive.

David and Carol Keeffe
David and Carol Keeffe

During the initial investigation, detectives saw that the perpetrator had stepped in David Keeffe's blood with his right boot as he positioned himself to fire the .22-caliber round into David's head. The killer had left bloody footprints on the floor in leaving the garage. Later, firearms examinations also revealed that the two .22-caliber bullets removed from Carol's head and the single .22-caliber bullet removed from David's head were fired from the same gun. Fired Winchester shotgun shells and shot pellets recovered at the scene were also believed to have been fired from a single shotgun.

Detectives learned that Carol and David Keeffe had been married 35 years at the time of their deaths and left behind a 25-year-old son and a 31-year-old daughter. For the next four years, relatives and area residents would be left to wonder who had killed the highly-respected couple and why, while local investigators continued trying to solve a murder mystery that did not seem to have an easy solution.

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