The family of Elena (Helen) Cucu Popa; age 73 at the time of her death on
New Year’s Eve, 12/31/1979 is asking for help from the general public and
any law enforcement organization with leads and information on the person
or persons who perpetrated this crime.
Mrs. Popa was found in the backyard of her home near the entrance of her cellar steps;
her body was hidden under wood debris, Venetian blinds and corrugated roofing. Her home was located at 520 Division Street, Mt. Union, Pa. 17066; Mt. Union Borough; Huntingdon County in the state of Pennslyvania. Mrs. Popa died from external skull fractures and brain injury as a result of numerous blows to her face and head. Her lifeless body was discovered by her son-in-law William Bard (now deceased) at approximately 4:40 in the afternoon (1/1/1980) as he arrived at her home on New Year’s Day to drive Mrs. Popa to his home for New Year’s dinner. Robbery was the “probable cause”.
Curtis C. Everhart, (now deceased) the first responding officer of the Mount Union Borough Police Department said police (at that time) were unable to determine if the slaying of
Mrs. Popa occurred at the rear of the house or inside her home. Mrs. Popa lived alone and she was last seen alive at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday 12/31/1979. A list of known items were taken from her home and evidence was secured by the Crime Scene Unit.
In 2010 the boxes of evidence that had been secured 30 years earlier have been located in Harrisburg and have been tested for DNA, touch DNA and other forensic methods available to police today which were not available in 1980.
A $10,000 REWARD…for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons guilty of the robbery – murder of Mrs. Helen Popa of Mount Union, Pa. On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1979.
Original Pa. State Police Officers : G03-119306 Criminal Homicide
It has been nearly 35 years since the murder of Helen Popa. The case is now handled by
Trooper Clemens and Troop Swank. If you have any information you would like to share please e-mail, call, or write Trooper Gretchen E. Swank.
Trooper Gretchen Swank ; “Like I said, I worked in the same unit with Trooper Clemens for a few years, and we will take whatever actions are necessary to develop information to further this investigation.”
Trooper Gretchen E. Swank | Criminal Investigation Unit
Pennsylvania State Police | Troop G, Huntingdon
10637 Raystown Road | Huntingdon PA 16652
Phone: 814-627-3161 | Fax: 814-627-0042