Original article no longer available
April 27, 2005
SOLEBURY - A township man severely beat and stabbed his wife to death inside their home Friday, and then committed suicide in a shopping center parking lot, police said.
The woman’s throat had been cut so deeply, the wound reached her spinal column, according to police. She had tried to defend herself, as evidenced by the defensive wounds on her hands, police said.
Police said Jon Czarny, 48, and his wife, Susan Czarny, 50, had a history of domestic violence, and Mr. Czarny had made a previous suicide attempt earlier this year.
Police first discovered the body of Mr. Czarny when they responded to a 911 call at approximately 5:45 p.m. The caller had reported an unattended dog locked in a car in front of the Radio Shack in the Logan Square Shopping Center on Route 202, but made no mention of a body inside.
When they arrived, police found Mr. Czarny inside his Honda Scion, slumped in the front passenger seat. Police said there were no obvious signs of body trauma. Pill bottles were found beside the body with labels that indicated the pills were antidepressants.
Police broke the window to reach him. The Bucks County coroner pronounced Mr. Czarny dead at the scene.
Aware of the couple’s history, police immediately went to the couple’s two-bedroom condominium at 129 Summer Hill Court to check on the welfare of Mrs. Czarny. They found the door closed but unlocked. They saw blood in the foyer, dining room and kitchen, according to police.
Officers found Mrs. Czarny in the kitchen, lying on her back, fully clothed and partially covered by a throw blanket. In addition to the slit throat, police said, Mrs. Czarny had been stabbed at least four times in the front and back of her torso. She also had been hit in the top and back of the head. Next to her body, police said they found a rolling pin with a broken handle.
Police said neighbors heard what they thought was furniture being “banged around” in the home at about 3 that morning.
Upstairs in a bedroom, police said they found a suicide note dated March 6, 2005, and signed by Mr. Czarny. According to police, investigators believe he wrote the note during a prior suicide attempt when he had slit his wrists while sitting in his car in front of the Clemens Market in Solebury. After he’d injured himself, he had driven home to his wife, who then called 911 for help.
Police also found in the home a document from the Horsham Clinic, which provides mental health services in Montgomery County, Pa. The document was labeled “My suicide/self-injury behavior prevention program.” Police said they believe the document had been filled out by Mr. Czarny.
Police said they believe the couple had been married since November 2002. Mrs. Czarny was employed by the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles in Trenton. Police are unsure where Mr. Czarny worked.
Their dog, a medium-size, tan, mixed breed, was taken to the Bucks County SPCA in Lahaska. A spokeswoman there, who did not give her name, said Monday the dog might be a corgi-shepherd mix.
The spokeswoman said the dog is “fine” but might be a bit “nervous” after having been uprooted from his home. The shelter already has received several inquiries from callers interested in adopting the dog.
Solebury police Chief Richard Mangan referred further inquiries about the case to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.
Repeated calls this week to the office of District Attorney Diane Gibbons had not been returned by the time The Beacon went to press.
A spokeswoman at the Bucks County Coroner’s Office in Doylestown said Tuesday the corner, Dr. Joseph Campbell, was not available.