Lawrence coping with 4 homicides in 6 months - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Lawrence coping with 4 homicides in 6 months

Posted: Updated:
The latest death occurred early Saturday, when the body of 52-year-old Harold Sasko was found at his home. Police continue to search for 19-year-old Sarah Gonzales McLinn, who lived with Sasko. The latest death occurred early Saturday, when the body of 52-year-old Harold Sasko was found at his home. Police continue to search for 19-year-old Sarah Gonzales McLinn, who lived with Sasko.
LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV/AP) -

Family and friends are still struggling to understand the murder of 52-year-old Harold Sasko and the disappearance of 19-year-old Sarah Gonzales McLinn, who lived with Sasko.

At home and at work Sasko made a point of helping out young people in need. As the owner and manager of several Cici's Pizza franchises in Lawrence and Topeka, KS, Sasko employed many young people looking for their first job. His close friend, Kimberly Qualls, said she and others will remember him for doing anything he could to help a friend.

"He once told me his mission was to help other people. He would support his employees. He would go to their graduations, birthday parties. He'd watch them perform in a play," Qualls said.

She remembers when Sasko took in McLinn as a roommate a year and a half ago. Qualls said the young woman was a Cici's employee who needed help and guidance.

"He gave it a lot of thought. Sarah was someone to who he wanted to help provide her with kind of a close environment where she could figure out what she wanted to do for a career or for her life," Qualls said.

Lawrence police are still looking for McLinn and trying to solve the mystery surrounding Sasko's death. Family members haven't heard from her so police went to check where she had been staying about midnight on Saturday. That's when they found Sasko's body. They believe McLinn might also be in danger.

"We are still running a number of leads, but at this point in time we have not located Sarah nor have we located the vehicle that had been taken from the house," said Sgt. Trent McKinley.

Qualls said the uncertainty of Sasko's death adds to the grief she, his friends and family are experiencing.

"How do you understand somebody being killed who was so giving and so caring and did so much for so many people?" she said.

Police are no longer holding the scene at Sasko's house. They say they've removed all the evidence they need for now.

The latest homicide in Lawrence was the fourth in the city in the last six months, after nearly five years with no homicides reported.

When 51-year-old Gary Edens was shot to death in his driveway last July, it was the first homicide in Lawrence since 2008. That was followed by the shooting death of Margaret Hopkins at her home in November, and the Christmas Day stabbing death of 33-year-old Wayne Francisco.

Twenty-year-old Brittny Adams pleaded guilty last Friday to intentional second-degree murder in Edens' death. Suspects have also been charged in Hopkins' and Francisco's deaths.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Powered by WorldNow