Footage shows shooting victim, man who was questioned together at her work place Friday
MOUNT CARMEL - A Milton woman and a man questioned in her shooting were observed on camera together Friday at her job at a Lewisburg convenience store.
Salicia Yost, 20, was found by a passerby about 5:30 a.m. Saturday inside a 2013 Chevy Sonic with Ohio registration that was stopped on a snow pile along Irish Valley Road. Doctors soon after discovered she had been shot in the head.
Surveillance footage at the Short Stop on North Derr Drive
(Route 15) shows Rafael Anthony Diroche Jr. and Yost together, according to one of four search warrants obtained Tuesday at the office of Magisterial District Judge Hugh A. Jones.
Diroche, 28, of 250 S. Poplar St., Apt. 3, Mount Carmel, drove to the store in his 1994 Honda Accord EX, the warrants state. It is not indicated if they were traveling together or if Yost was working.
The two were in touch leading up to the shooting, police said, and several cell phone calls and text messages between them pertained to ecstasy, "coke" and "dope," the warrants state. Police said Diroche's phone number was listed in Yost's cell phone under "Rafy."
They were texting about meeting up and specifically spoke of "being on Irish Valley Road" minutes before Yost was discovered inside the vehicle, police said.
The vehicle was located west of a stone tunnel just off Route 61 and three miles north of Shamokin. Yost was alone when emergency responders arrived, but police haven't said if they believe someone was inside the vehicle with her or where she was when she was shot.
Troopers were notified of what was reported as a crash involving Yost at 5:38 a.m. She was en route to Geisinger by the time Troopers Justin Roboschil and James Yankovich were assigned to investigate the crash at 6 a.m.
After doctors discovered the bullet wound, the investigation shifted to one of attempted homicide. Investigators returned to Irish Valley road and also focused on the Mount Carmel area.
Circumstances surrounding the shooting remain unknown.
Pair still in jail
Diroche and another man, Esteven Rafael Soto, 30, of 1752 Walton Ave., 6A, Bronx, N.Y., were arrested on drug and weapon charges after being detained Saturday at Diroche's Mount Carmel apartment.
Neither man is charged with shooting Yost and they have not been classified as suspects, although a police spokesman said Monday that they haven't been ruled out either.
Police said a female occupant of the apartment allowed officers to enter. A warrant was sought after illegal narcotics were allegedly observed in plain view.
Diroche was allegedly in possession of a small caliber revolver and a cell phone. Two more revolvers as well as heroin, marijuana and cocaine packaged for resale were found inside a bedroom reportedly occupied by Soto, police said.
Both are convicted felons and barred from possessing a gun.
They remained jailed Tuesday on $250,000 cash bail - Diroche at Snyder County Prison, Selinsgrove, and Soto at Northumberland County Prison, Sunbury. A preliminary hearing at Jones' office is slated for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19.
The search warrants issued by Jones to state police investigators on Saturday were for the Sonic, registered to a Daniel C. Fogle Jr., the Accord, Diroche's apartment and Yost's cell phone and a laptop computer.
Cpl. Thomas W. Trusal, a computer forensics expert from state police at Milton, sought the cell phone and laptop to search digital information, including Internet searches and websites visited, phone calls, texts and emails, photographs and GPS and mapping data. The phone was retrieved by police at the hospital, and the laptop was found in the rear of the Sonic.
Any evidence of a crime was sought inside both vehicles, including firearms and bullets, casings and fragments, along with DNA evidence. Troopers Ronald P. Zanella, Stonington station, and Trooper Adrian Bordner, of the Milton station's criminal investigation unit, applied for the vehicle warrants.
Bordner also sought the warrant for Diroche's apartment in search of drugs and paraphernalia, firearms and accessories, money and a winter coat.