Johnstown, PA

He stabbed her to death over cost of refrigerator during Facebook Marketplace sale in Johnstown

Josue Torres

A mother and nurse from Pennsylvania was reportedly stabbed to death at the beginning of the month by a man selling a refrigerator on Facebook Marketplace after the two got into a dispute about the price of the fridge.

According to an arrest report, Joshua Gorgone, 26, admitted to the "brutal" stabbing of Denise Williams following a disagreement about the price of a refrigerator.

(Photo courtesy of Cambria County Prison)

Officials said the 54-year-old woman disappeared on April 5 after driving to Gorgone's apartment to look at the fridge, which was supposed to be a present for her partner. To coordinate the deal, they'd met and talked on Facebook Marketplace.

Williams' relatives submitted a missing person report after she failed to return numerous phone calls after leaving work several hours before.

The nurse's phone was traced to an undisclosed location in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, about 9 p.m. Her Chevrolet Trax was later found in Richland Township, around eight miles south. Detectives discovered "new blood" on the vehicle's hinges, as well as ice cubes scattered around the floorboard. A tiny baggie of alleged cocaine was also discovered, as well as an ATM withdrawal receipt for $160 from a Johnstown bank from earlier that day. The key to the SUV was nowhere to be found.

Authorities eventually learned that Williams had agreed to visit Gorgone on Monday to purchase a refrigerator. Her corpse was subsequently discovered on the bathroom floor of his residence.

During the investigation, Gorgone informed investigators that the deal went south, eventually escalating into a physical altercation. He also admitted to repeatedly stabbing Williams in the chest with a kitchen knife.

Gorgone then seems to have abandoned her car in Richland Township. Prosecutors believe the narcotics found in Williams' Chevrolet belonged to him as well.

Williams' death was determined to be a homicide. According to a provisional autopsy, she died from exsanguination, or major blood loss, caused by several stab wounds; she also had several defensive cuts on her hands, feet, and forearms.

"She did put up one heck of a fight," Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees told reporters. “She was taken away from her family at the snap of a finger.”

During a press conference on Wednesday, Geistown investigators confirmed that after Williams' relatives declared her missing the search for her promptly happened.

Williams reportedly informed family members that she was heading to a man's apartment to check the refrigerator.

Using data from Williams' phone, detectives were able to trace her movements. Furthermore, relatives exchanged posts from the victim's Facebook site, which prompted them to Gorgone.

During the press conference, officials stated that Williams' body revealed she had defensive wounds as well.

According to charging documents, Gorgone reportedly confessed to stabbing Williams with a kitchen knife following a disagreement over his asking price.

Gorgone is being detained without parole after being charged with criminal homicide. He was charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to jail records.

Officials advised against visiting Facebook Marketplace sellers alone or welcoming buyers into your house.

“You should never meet up with a stranger by yourself,” he added. “You should let your family know where you’re going. Bring a family member or a friend. And if you’re on the selling side of things, you shouldn’t invite a stranger into your in a public place that is well-lit, hopefully under surveillance, and would have people around.”

Gorgone was due to appear before District Judge Susan Gindlesperger of Stonycreek Township for a preliminary hearing.

Kevin Sanders and Michael Salvester, public defenders, asked for a continuance.

Sanders said that they "haven’t had the opportunity to speak with him at length.”

A new hearing date has not been scheduled.

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