Police report no progress in 6-month-old Stickle case

After six months without answers, friends of Jamie Stickle continue to hope that someone will come forward with information that will help Pittsburgh Police piece together the events that to her death.

Stickle, a 33-year-old bartender who had worked at Images and Sidekicks, was found dead Feb. 8 in her burned-out Jeep in front of her North Side apartment. Blood, money and some of Stickles personal belongings were found scattered at the scene, initially leading police to suspect a homicide. Since then, however, no other evidence has been obtained to confirm that suspicion.

According to police, an arson squad found no trace of accelerants at the scene and also ruled out the possibility that the fire started inside the Jeep’s cab. Insurance industry experts on car fires also have been unable to determine what caused the fire. Tests showed Stickle’s death was caused by smoke inhalation.

Police had been waiting on toxicology tests results from the Allegheny County coroner’s office before ruling Stickle’s death a homicide. Those test results have been made available to police, but authorities cited privacy issues in declining to make the information public.

William Mullen, assistant chief of police, said police are no closer to solving the case than they were five months ago.

“We’re still working on any information that we receive. That’s where we are right now,” said Mullen. “Whenever we pick up anyone on the North Side, we question them as to whether they have any knowledge of this incident.”

So far, police have questioned nearly 40 individuals, Mullen said.

Deposit the lack of progress in the case, Images owner Chuck Honse, who was instrumental in setting up a reward fund for information in Stickle’s death, said the reward offer still stands. Honse and others, including Images manager Wayne Moon, Liberty Avenue Saloon owner Tony Rubino and Pegasus and Sidekicks owner David Morrow, helped organize the “United for Jamie” campaign, which has so far raised over $18,000 for the Jamie Lynn Stickle Fund.

Reward still offered for information in Stickle death

If no one comes forward with information and the reward money goes unclaimed, it will be given to charities that fight AIDS and breast cancer— two issues that were important to Stickle, according to Honse. But Honse added that making a decision to donate the money to charity will not be made any­ time soon because Stickle’s friends are not giving up hope that someone will provide information in her death.

Honse would not say how long those overseeing the fund would wait before making a decision to re­ direct the money to charity.

“I want to find out from the coroner what is required to have a formal inquest into her death,” Hones told Out. “This ‘undetermined cause of death’ cannot continue.”

“We have one of the two most famous forensic scientists in the country right here in Pittsburgh,” Honse added. “I don’t know if Dr. [Cyril] Wecht was involved in this case or not. A formal inquest, I would think, would assure his participation.”

Police told Out, however, that an inquest cannot be conducted until they have a suspect in Stickle’s death.

To provide information in the death of Jamie Stickle, call the Pittsburgh Homicide Squad at (412) 665- 4050; all calls are kept strictly confidential. To do­ nate to the reward fund, send a check made payable to the Lambda Foundation to PO Box 5169, Pitts­ burgh, PA 15206.

This article originally appeared Pittsburgh’s Out. This article is preserved as a part of the Q Archives project. Please consider donating to help preserve Pittsburgh’s Queer history.