Closings & Delays

Daughter, sister of Lancaster stabbing victims speaks out

CAENARVON TOWNSHIP, Lancaster County, Pa. --- Heather Sterbinsky, 24, says she has "never felt so much pain" in her life.

Sterbinksy said she and her whole family are hurting following the death of her mother, Christine Ross, 53, and her sister, Autumn Ross, 20, on July 18.

According to Lancaster police, Heather's uncle, James Sterbinksy, 56, fatally stabbed his sister, Christine, and his niece, Autumn, inside a home on the 500 block of High Street.

Police also say Sterbinksy stabbed Heather's brother, resulting in a punctured lung.

Heather said her uncle might have had a mental illness but she doesn't believe that's the reason he did it.

She said Sterbinksy was "violent" and "aggressive" due to a history of drug use.

“I think that he knew better. He knew what he was doing...I don’t think there is any justice for [Christine and Autumn]. There’s nothing that anybody can really do...I think that my uncle, James, he deserves to rot in [jail],” said Sterbinsky.

Heather said her nine-year-old nephew helped her five-year-old niece escape from the home when the incident happened.

She said he helped her jump out of a second floor window onto a nearby dumpster before running to a neighboring home.

“I think he was so brave. I don’t even know if I’d be able to do what he did," said Sterbinsky.

She also said Autumn tried to help their mother during the attack.

She described her sister as having a humorous attitude, always making people laugh.

“She was doing so good. She just graduated cosmetology school, she was working. Just think it’s so unfair her life got taken from her. She’s got a three-year-old son now that she can’t be there for because of him,” said Sterbinsky.

Heather said her mother was "good to everyone" and was "willing to help anyone."

She said it's been difficult having her routine broken.

“Every morning, me and my mom FaceTimed and every night we’d FaceTime. This came literally daily, sometimes throughout the day. I’ve still already thought of trying to pick up the phone and call my mom. I can’t call her. I think that’s what hurts so bad,” said Sterbinsky.

Heather explained that her uncle was living with her mom and her mom tried to get him on his feet.

“That’s why it sickens me that he did this to her because all she wanted to do was help him,” said Sterbinsky.

Sterbinsky said her brother is progressing with his recovery at a hospital, saying she's thankful he's ok.

James Sterbinsky is facing two counts of criminal homicide and an attempted homicide charge.

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