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Police: Man killed girlfriend in Allentown apartment

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 08 2012 08:12:38 AM CDT
Updated On: Sep 10 2012 04:52:17 AM CDT

Allentown police investigating homicide

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

An Allentown woman was found stabbed and police said her boyfriend is the killer.

It happened just after 1 a.m. Saturday at an apartment building in the 400 block of South 18th Street. It's the city's ninth homicide of the year.

What started as a domestic dispute ended in murder. Allentown Police say 31-year-old Jonathan Schaffer faces criminal homicide charges for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend -- 31-year-old Lauren Wolstenholme -- to death.

Neighbors say police and rescue crews got to the quiet residential street around 2 a.m.

"We saw all kinds of lights out in the front, several police cars blocking the street," explained Kelly Hummel.  

We're told a family member called officers to the couple's second floor apartment around 1:40 a.m. Saturday.

"They were quite certain that at the very least an injury had occurred and possibly a death," said Allentown Assistant Chief of Police Joe Hanna.

No one inside responded when police arrived, so they forced their way in. Wolstenholme's body was found near the kitchen. Schaffer was inside the master bathroom with a knife.

"They had given him numerous directives to drop the knife," said Hanna. "When he did not do so, that's when they deployed the Taser."

He said it was the only way to take Schaffer into custody.

"We saw a gentleman being escorted out by police, his hands were behind his back and they put him on a stretcher and took him in an ambulance," said Hummel.

Investigators were on scene for more than 12 hours Saturday, combing through evidence at the four-unit apartment complex.

Folks who have lived on the quiet block for years say they're concerned.

"It's very scary, very scary, yes, because this is a peaceful neighborhood," said Barbara Joseph.

"I don't like it at all," shared Mike Lutte. "Me and my wife have even been talking about trying to maybe get out of the city."

An autopsy on Wolstenholme is set for Monday. Neighbors say the couple had two children, and their hearts go out to the families.

"It's terrible," said Joseph. "You know anything tragic that happens to anyone is an awful thing."

"I wish well for both families," added Hummel. "It's tragic, it's sad."

Schaffer is being treated at St. Luke's Hospital. Police said he swallowed a substantial amount of prescription drugs. Once he's released, he'll be arraigned.