http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/localnews/06-25-2010-woman-missingWoman fears sister in peril
6/25/2010 3:31 AM By Linda Metz, Staff writer
Beth Pugner of Latrobe said her sister, Amy, moved to Washington to put her past behind her and start anew while recovering from a drug addiction.
And Beth Pugner said she believed her sister, who also has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, had finally straightened out her life, at least enough that she wouldn't try to scam her family out of money.
That's why she now fears for her sister's safety and hopes only to see her sister alive again.
Beth Pugner's fear stems from repeated text messages and calls that she and her father, John Pugner, received from a man using Amy Pugner's cell phone on June 9.
The man told the father and daughter that Amy Pugner had stolen something from him and that he wanted them to give him $30,000, or she was dead.
"He called well into the night," said Beth Pugner, who said the man called on her sister's phone until it died and then used another phone to make his demands.
Beth Pugner said she tried to explain to the man that the banks were closed and there was no way for them to get that kind of money, but he didn't want to hear that. The man told the Pugners to drop the money off at a McDonald's restaurant located at 18th Street and Bridgeville Road in Mt. Oliver.
When Beth Pugner asked to talk to her sister to make sure she was alive, all she could hear was a mumbling sound like a woman whose mouth was being covered or had been taped.
The next day, Beth Pugner and her father came to Washington to report her sister missing. Amy Pugner was placed into the national database for missing persons. A flier was released Thursday by Washington police with Amy Pugner's photo and details about a reward that is being offered for information leading the family and police to the missing woman.
"I had last talked to her on June 8. She was painting her apartment," Beth Pugner said. Amy Pugner had just come to Latrobe for her son's graduation.
But no one has heard from Amy Pugner for two weeks. And she was missed when she didn't show up for her son's graduation party last weekend.
"I really thought she was straightening out her life," said Beth Pugner. "That's why I think she's in danger."
City Detective Dan Stanek said that while missing person reports are common, especially with drug users, he said this case is being taken more seriously because of the text messages and phone calls.
Amy Pugner is 41 years old and was living in an apartment at 719 N. Main St., Washington. She has brown hair and hazel eyes, is about 5-foot-2 and weighs about 130 pounds.Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts should call Stanek at 724-223-1386.