CLARION – A 32-year-old Rimersburg man, Joel Tanner Stark, is facing several criminal conspiracy charges in connection to the death of Devan Knapp, 19, of Brookville. Knapp disappeared on Jan. 11, and her body was located four days later in Millcreek Township, Clarion County.
On Monday, Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron charged Shawn Ryan Carr, 29, of Kittanning with third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, drug delivery resulting in death and abuse of a corpse. Aaron said Carr injected heroin into Knapp, which then led to her death.
Court documents detailed a witness’ statements, which served as the basis for the criminal charges. Stark was identified as that witness on Tuesday. Police charged Stark with abuse of a corpse and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
According to court documents, Stark witnessed Carr inject Knapp. When she stopped breathing, Stark suggested they take Knapp to the hospital. However, Carr allegedly refused, saying he had warrants out for his arrest.
Police said Carr and Stark allegedly took Knapp’s body to a remote area of Millcreek Township in Clarion County. They allegedly put her behind the steering wheel with a needle on her lap to make it appear like she had overdosed.
“We average probably one homicide per year,” Aaron said, “But this case is obviously very significant, because it seems to be a culmination of what has been occurring in western Pennsylvania, not just in Clarion County over the last couple of years. It’s been culminating in heroin abuse and leading to a tragic death such as this.”
Police also charge Stark with criminal use of a communication facility. He allegedly used his cell phone to arrange delivery of heroin.