Burlington County authorities reported that the last known person to have seen Sheila Maguire alive before she was killed inside her Florence home is believed to have been found dead yesterday in Pennsylvania, perhaps from an apparent suicide.
Officials said a body preliminarily identified as Peter Lestician, 53, who had been in a relationship with Maguire, was discovered in a vehicle by an abandoned barn near an ATV trail in Cooper Township in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania State Police troopers were called to the scene yesterday at approximately 4 p.m. by two men riding four-wheelers in the area.
Upon arrival, they discovered the body of an adult male in the front seat of the vehicle, which was locked.
The troopers reported no signs of foul play.
Lestician’s New Jersey driver’s license was located in the vehicle. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause and manner of death, and also to confirm the identity.
Officials said Maguire, 54, was found dead late Monday afternoon after family members requested a wellness check at her residence because they had been unable to reach her for a few days. Maguire and Lestician lived together at the home in the 200 block of Birch Hollow Drive.
An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined that she died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Lestician, a teacher at South Brunswick High School, had not made contact with family members since August 26.
While he was a person of interest in Maguire’s homicide, there was no evidence linking Lestician directly to the crime and charges had not been filed against him.
The investigation into Maguire’s homicide will continue. BCPO Crime Scene Unit detectives are coordinating with the local district attorney’s office in Pennsylvania to gain permission to forensically examine the vehicle.
The investigation is being conducted by the Florence Township Police Department, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the PA State Police.
The lead investigators are FTPD Detective Chris Powell and BCPO Detectives Shawn McDonough and Andrew Ridolfi.