South Fayette Police requested assistance from the Allegheny County Police Department Homicide Unit, who then took over the investigation. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy and determined the victim died from blunt force trauma and her manner of death was homicide.
Officers later arrested the victim’s son, David Sumney, for receiving stolen property after investigators found his mother’s jewelry in his possession. He was later charged with criminal homicide, robbery, theft, and abuse of a corpse.
The victim was identified as Margaret Sumney.
KDKA-TV reported David Sumney pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, but his family reportedly wanted a judge to get rid of the plea deal and have him stand trial for first-degree murder.
According to the Daily Beast, David Sumney tortured his mother and left her body in a bathroom. He then reportedly took 277 photos and selfies at the scene. KDKA reports one selfie included him with a thumbs-up and another with blood all over his face.
David’s cousin, Margo, reportedly called him "the epitome of pure evil" in court.
His half-sister Ellen reportedly said, "You broke her back. You paralyzed our mother. And then you just beat her and beat her. The blood was splattered along the walls. But I think the sickest part is the pictures. The 277 pictures. You only take pictures if you want to go back and see what you did."
David reportedly told a judge in court, "I cannot believe I would let myself get in such a state where I could do something so bad, so horrible. I cannot believe what I did, that I killed my own mother."
David Sumney reportedly has a history with violence. In July 2019, he reportedly waterboarded his girlfriend in a hotel room.