A tragic love story of Connoquenessing Creek

When two young bodies were found at a deserted summer camp in western Pennsylvania in February of 1939, a tragic tale of love was brought to light. The following article appeared in the Shamokin News-Dispatch on February 11, 1939.

Man Commits Suicide After Slaying Girl

Beaver Falls, Pa., Feb. 11 (U.P.)-- Beaver County Coroner H. C. McCarter today blamed murder and suicide for the deaths at a deserted summer camp of a young Pittsburgh couple that went together for five years in a romance beset by financial trouble and paternal objections.

The girl was brown-haired Marie Sedlak, whose body was found sitting upright in a locked automobile. One bullet wound in the right temple had brought death. The man was 31-year-old Joe Veverka who, according to McCarter, apparently shot her and then went into a nearby cabin and hanged himself to a rafter.

Coroner McCarter said the two had been dead since Wednesday night when Veverka's body was found dangling in the damp little camp cabin on Connoquenessing Creek by Paul Pflug, a young farmer who became curious when the automobile was not moved for more than a day. Pflug did not notice the body of Miss Sedlak, but saw that the cabin door was open and there found Veverka. He summoned Pennsylvania Motor Police from their Beaver headquarters. They discovered Miss Sedlak's body.

In Pittsburgh, detectives who investigated events leading up to the final "date" of the couple, said the act might be blamed upon "jealousy" but uncovered no such unrequited affection.

Detectives said that Mrs. Catherine Sedlak, mother of Marie, had asked her daughter to stop seeing Veverka because he was out of a job and because the association "wasn't doing her any good".

Further newspaper reports indicate that the scene of the tragedy was just south of the village of Fombell, where a YMCA camp presently stands. The Indiana Gazette quoted Mrs. Sedlak as saying, "Marie and Joe had been going together for about five years, but they have had to meet secretly for the last year because I told her she oughtn't to see him anymore. He did not have a job and it wasn't doing her any good."


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