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Police arrest woman in 3-year-old case of slain mother and child

June 25, 1997

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) _ A woman was arrested in North Carolina on Tuesday and charged in the 1994 slaying of her ex-boyfriend’s wife and infant son in Pennsylvania.

Patricia L. Rorrer was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of kidnapping in the deaths of Joann Katrinak, 26, and her 3 1/2-month-old son, Alex.

Pennsylvania police, with the help of authorities in North Carolina, arrested Ms. Rorrer, 33, in Linwood, N.C. She was jailed without bail pending a court hearing Wednesday to face extradition.

Mrs. Katrinak’s husband, Andrew, reported his wife and son missing in December 1994 after they failed to show up at his mother’s house.

Andrew Katrinak said he found his basement door ajar and removed from its hinges, and a phone line had been cut. His wife’s vehicle was discovered in a parking lot 100 yards away from their house.

The bodies of the mother and son were found in April 1995 in a rural, wooded area 15 miles from home. Mrs. Katrinak had been shot in the face and beaten, and Alex is believed to have died from suffocation and exposure.

Ms. Rorrer was identified early on as a possible suspect. She moved to North Carolina after her relationship with Katrinak ended in 1991. But she continued to call him occasionally.

Three days before she vanished, Mrs. Katrinak angrily told Ms. Rorrer over the phone to stop calling her house, according to a police affidavit.

DNA analysis showed that hair samples Ms. Rorrer submitted matched six found in the headrest of Mrs. Katrinak’s car and two found near the bodies.

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