SPRING GROVE, Pa. - Community members are mourning the death of a York County mother who police was stabbed to death in her home by a neighbor over the weekend.
Samantha Stein, 24, lived in the home with her four-year-old daughter, as well as her fiancé and his two children. Her fiancé found her dead in the home around 7:15 Saturday morning, although she had been deceased for several hours, according to police.
Those who knew Stein attended a candlelight vigil Monday night at the home, describing Stein as a great mother who was fun-loving and a pleasure to be around.
“It was always something new,” said Alexis Stough, a friend who had met Stein and her fiance a few months ago. “She always had something funny to say and she always had like a bubbly confident personality. Everyone describes her as quiet and stuff, but she really wasn't.”
Police say around 1:20 a.m. Saturday, 59-year-old Raymond Heck, Sr., who lived a few houses down, entered the home through Stein's front door, which was unlocked.
They say he was wearing gloves and cut the wiring to a surveillance camera at the front porch with a knife.
“I would suggest to you that we believe that was intent to cause harm potentially to the victim,” said Chief Gregory Bean of the Southwestern Regional Police Department in York County.
Court documents reveal Heck admitted to breaking into Stein's home to steal property, but Stein woke up and in a struggle, Heck stabbed her to death with the knife. He then left the house around 2:10 a.m. Court documents suggested Heck befriended Stein over the last year in the hopes of something more than a platonic friendship.
Heck was taken into custody by authorities on Sunday.
“Probably an hour into the interview, Heck did become emotional and did explain that he was involved in this homicide and him alone,” Bean said.
Police say they do not believe the three children in the home witnessed the homicide.
They say Heck's family has been cooperative with the investigation.
“The persons that had originally given us this name were extremely helpful, and quite frankly, had a large part to do with the eventual arrest of Ray Heck,” Bean said.
Several charitable efforts are underway for Stein’s fiancé and the three children.
Clothes and non-violent toys are being collected at the Dollar General in Spring Grove for the children.
“I feel it's important because of the children,” said Amber McKinsey, a manager at the Spring Grove Dollar General. “That is not something that normal children should have to deal with. It's something that they need to see that not all humans are bad.”
Heck faces criminal homicide, burglary, theft and receiving stolen property charges. Bail has been denied, so he remains in custody at York County Prison and is scheduled for a court appearance in January.