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DA: Penns Valley Homicide Investigation Still Ongoing

Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna and state police officials said on Thursday it could be several months before the investigation of a fatal stabbing last week in Penns Valley is completed.

Following a 911 call at about 4:30 a.m. on April 8, state police troopers and EMS personnel found 26-year-old Robert Farwell, of Spring Mills, unresponsive outside the Haines Township home of Brittany Guisewhite, Cantorna said.

Farwell was taken by EMS to Mount Nittany Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:58 a.m. A preliminary autopsy report confirmed he died of a single stab wound to the chest. Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers ruled the death a homicide.

The stabbing resulted from a “domestic incident,” Cantorna said.

Guisewhite was taken to the Rockview state police barracks where she gave a statement.

According to a search warrant filed by state police, Guisewhite said that after Farwell showed up at her home uninvited and made a series of offensive comments, she barricaded herself in a bedroom and he threatened to kill her. She allegedly said that she opened the door while holding a steak knife and that they lunged at each other.

State police and the DA’s office are still waiting on reports from the coroner and forensic pathologist, toxicology reports and the state police crime lab’s analysis of evidence collected at the scene. Investigators also must still receive and review forensic downloads from digital devices and have “a significant number of interviews” that will be conducted, Cantorna said.

Guisewhite is not in custody. Cantorna said he will wait until the investigation is completed before determining if charges should be filed.

“No charges have been filed and we won’t make a decision on whether to file charges until we have a complete investigation and enough information to know that we’re making a just decision,” Cantorna said. “At this point we have more work to do before I can reach that decision or before the police are comfortable that they know what happened and why it happened. Until we’re there, we’re not going to rush to judgment. We’re going to make sure that we get this right.”

Video by Vincent Corso | Centre County Gazette

State police Capt. Christopher Storm said depending on the crime lab’s case load, it could be “several months” before results of evidence analysis are returned.

Cantorna declined comment on the specific nature of the relationship between Guisewhite and Farwell.

“We understand that they had a relationship and had a relationship at that point in time,” Cantorna said. “The full extent and nature of that, I’m not comfortable stating it on the record as we sit here today.”

Police are continuing to investigate the previous history between Guisewhite and Farwell, Cantorna said. Anyone with information about Guisewhite, Farwell or the events that led to the stabbing is asked to contact the state police Rockview barracks at 814-355-7545.

Cantorna added that he has no information that indicates anyone else was involved in the incident.