Media Release #2282, Suspicious Death of John Joseph Harvat – Wetmore Township, McKean County, PA

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The Pennsylvania State Police, Troop C, Kane, continue their investigation into the suspicious death of John Joseph Harvat. 

After Thanksgiving 1984, John Harvat went to hunting camp in Wetmore Township, McKean County, with his son, other relatives, and friends.  On November 28, 1984, John Harvat was putting on a drive with his friend, Michael Blaskovich, Sr., and his 13-year-old son, John Harvat Jr., paralleling a creek.  John Jr. reported that he heard a shot coming from ahead of them and looked over to see his father’s hat fly off and then collapse.  Michael Blaskovich saw a “red and black Woolrich hunting outfit” out of the corner of his eye while running to aid John Harvat.  The ambulance and Troop C, Kane, was called, but John Harvat succumbed to his injuries at the scene. 

The McKean County Coroner stated the shot had entered John Harvat from the front.  All guns of the hunting party John Harvat was with were tested to see if they had recently been fired; they had not.  All vehicles and occupants in the area were tracked down, but provided no leads. The case was carried as suspicious since John Harvat was shot in the head and Michael Blaskovich claiming he saw someone dressed in hunting gear nearby.  Also, that no one could have accidentally shot him was located.  The case quickly went cold.  

In 1993, Coshoston County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio, contacted the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop C, Kane, and related that similar shootings had occurred in their county and a suspect had been developed.  Thomas Lee Dillion was arrested in Ohio and ultimately confessed to five homicides.  Thomas Dillion had killed these victims with a high-powered rifle while engaged in outdoor activities (hunting, fishing, etc.).  Thomas Dillion refused to speak to the Pennsylvania State Police.   

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  If you have information on this crime, any serious crime, or wanted person, call Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers Toll Free at 1-800-4PA-TIPS.  All callers remain anonymous and could be eligible for a CASH REWARD.
All information is accurate as of Release Date.

Date: 
Friday, July 6, 2018

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