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Police seek missing rifle in homicide case

January 13, 2013 News Extra

FORWARD TWP — Major case investigators spent the weekend hunting for evidence inside a business and at the home of a township man found dead late Friday night of a homicide at his truck repair shop.

State police were specifically looking for a .30-30 rifle that Robert C. “Bob” Gaurrich kept at Bob‘s Truck and Auto Repair on Route 68.

That same rifle, which turned up missing during an initial search of the business Saturday, may have been used to kill the 45-year-old Gaurrich, according to investigators.

“We did not find that rifle,” said Lt. Steve Ignatz of the state police crime unit this morning.

He declined to discuss if police have any suspects in the killing.

“There are a number of avenues we’re looking at right now,” Ignatz said.

Gaurrich’s body was found face down in a pile of stone outside his repair garage about 11 p.m. Friday.

An autopsy Saturday determined he died of a single gunshot wound to the upper chest, said Butler County Deputy Coroner Larry Barr. The autopsy ruled the death a homicide.

Police recovered a .30-30 caliber shell casing on the ground near a door at the east side of the 100-foot-long-by-50-foot-wide building that houses the truck garage.

A blood trail led from that door to Gaurrich’s body, police said.

Investigators suspect he was shot inside his business and died outside.

“There did not appear to be any forced entry into the business,” Ignatz said.

Police did not immediately know when Gaurrich was shot and when he died.

Ignatz said that because the shop was not burglarized and since Gaurrich did not appear to have any defensive-type wounds, the victim may have known his killer.