DA: $2M Gone, Guard Killed Pa. Armored Car Partner

Published February 29, 2012 9:54PM (EST)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — An armored car guard shot his partner to death, left the body in the back of the truck and vanished with more than $2 million in cash, authorities said Wednesday.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. said Wednesday that he intends to charge 22-year-old Kenneth Konias Jr., of Dravosburg with first-degree murder in the death of fellow Garda Cash Logistics guard Michael Haines, of East McKeesport.

Haines was found fatally shot in the back of the truck when it was found idling under a bridge in Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon. The truck had picked up money from the Rivers Casino shortly before 9 a.m. that day and was found about 3:40 p.m., after the guards had made several stops elsewhere, police said.

Pittsburgh police major crimes Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki told The Associated Press that surveillance video from the area shows the truck had been parked under the bridge since shortly before 1:30 p.m. that day.

"There's a time lapse from when the truck was parked" until it was found, Stangrecki said. "He must have gone to the company parking lot where his car, his Ford Explorer, was parked, and got there and left the area."

Homicide detectives went to the home where Konias lived with his parents Tuesday evening and found his bloody uniform jacket in his bedroom.

Stangrecki said Konias' family is cooperating with the investigation and weren't aware that the jacket was bloody or about anything else when Konias went home Tuesday.

"We know that he returned to his family's home, left the jacket and left the house," Stangrecki said. "He may have come home normally from work like he always does. And he hasn't been seen since."

So far, police don't believe Konias had any help.

"At this point, no, it looks like he's the brains behind this incident," Stangrecki said.

The FBI was also investigating, and is still auditing the exact amount of money taken from the truck. An FBI spokesman from the Pittsburgh field office did not immediately return a call for comment.

Stangrecki said he couldn't say how large a container would be needed to store the money stolen, or what denomination of bills were taken.

Garda officials have offered a $100,000 reward and released a statement saying company officials are "shocked and deeply saddened at the death of our colleague and extend our condolences to his family. We are continuing to assist law enforcement it its investigation of this incident."

Stangrecki said investigators notified Pittsburgh International Airport and officials at various transportation agencies as well as U.S. border authorities to be alert for Konias. Authorities believe Konias may have two guns — his service pistol and another hand gun, and Zappala told reporters, "We are trying to stress how dangerous this individual is."

"We want everybody looking for him."

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------