LEHMAN TWP. — A father killed his son before taking his own life inside their Summit Street home near Lake Silkworth, township police officer Mark Liparela and Luzerne County Acting Coroner William Lisman said.
Lisman identified the father as Robert Stolarick Sr., 54, and his son as Robert Jr., 26.
Liparela said they were found in a bedroom at 5 Summit St., with the younger Stolarick in bed wrapped in a sheet at about noon Wednesday. A handgun was found in the bedroom.
Lisman said the father and son each died from single gunshot wounds.
Stolarick’s sister, Donna Estus, said her brother had mental issues but was fine over the Easter holiday until Monday, when he received a phone call. Estus said that after the call, her brother’s mood changed and he began talking about his late wife, Catherine, and believing someone was going to take his son.
Catherine Stolarick was 32 years old when she was killed in a crash involving a drunken driver on Interstate 81 in Plains Township on Dec. 29, 1994. A Luzerne County jury convicted a Scranton man for causing the crash while drunk. He was sentenced to four to eight years in state prison in April 1996, according to court records.
Lisman said Stolarick was last seen by a family member on Tuesday. He could not say if the shootings happened Tuesday or Wednesday morning.
Liparela said a family member discovered the elder Stolarick’s body and called 911 just before noon
Estus said Stolarick’s girlfriend, Rosie Higgins, went to the house because she had not heard from him since Tuesday.
“She didn’t want to see something,” Estus said. “She came and knocked on the door and he didn’t answer, and the door wasn’t locked. It was always locked.”
Estus and Robert Stolarick Sr.’s father, John Stolarick, 73, of Dallas, said he was a mechanic at a garage in Dallas.
John Stolarick said his son’s supervisor called him and told him something was going on at his son’s house.
“I said ‘Is it carbon monoxide?’ and he said, ‘No, it’s something worse,’ ” John Stolarick said, noting his son had a coal stove in the house.
John Stolarick said he last saw his son and grandson around Christmas time, explaining he did not have a close relationship with his son.
“He was hard to get along with; sometimes you get a stubborn streak,” John Stolarick said.
Lisman said no autopsies will be performed.
“He was an awesome dad; his son was his life,” Estus said.