Two suspects in Westfield homicide arrested in Erie, PA

Aug 22, 2014

Two men have been arrested in Erie, Pennsylvania, after a car belonging to shooting victim Mary Whitaker was found in Erie.

Mary Whitaker
Credit Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department held a 5 p.m. Friday news conference in Mayville to announce that Jonathan Conklin, 43, and Charles Sanford, 30, have been arrested and charged with multiple crimes.

Whitaker's body was discovered at her house on Titus Road in the Town of Westfield on Wednesday. She suffered wounds to the chest and leg. Police believe Whitaker interrupted a burglary the morning of August 20 upon arriving at her home.

Authorities said Friday the two men stole Whitaker's vehicle, which was located in Erie. Conklin had warrants out for his arrest for grand larceny. Erie Police located the vehicle with the help of credit card tracking.

The two men faces federal charges of stealing property and transporting it across state lines, carjacking, and using a firearm in a violent crime, which carry sentences of up to life in prison. Murder charges are pending. The pair were arraigned in Buffalo on Friday evening, and both entered not guilty pleas.

Whitaker was last seen after performing with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Tuesday night in their final concert of the season.

The victim was a 25-year veteran of the Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra in suburban New York City and played regularly on Broadway, while performing summers at Chautauqua.