PA Studies Services To Mentally Ill After Links To Violent Cases


Pennsylvania officials have opened an investigation into another case of a Pittsburgh-area mental health patient connected to a violent crime. The decomposing body of a woman, 39, was found last week in the apartment of David Wayne Alexander. Police charged Alexander, 40, with homicide. He has a history of mental illness. Last year, he signed a court-ordered plan that compelled him to seek outpatient treatment.

McGuire’s death is one of at least 19 serious incidents — which the state calls “sentinel events” — in Allegheny County since August of last year involving people with mental health problems. The most prominent centers on Andrea Curry-Demus, who has been charged with killing a pregnant teenager and stealing her baby. Very few violent crimes are connected to people with mental illnesses, but this year’s high-profile cases have prompted officials to take a closer look at how services are provided to people who live in the community at a time when a state hospital is nearing closure and more patients with criminal records are being treated in unlocked facilities.


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