City man suspected in robberies found dead

STEUBENVILLE – A man suspected of three armed robberies in Weirton and Jefferson County since Friday was found dead of an apparent suicide at an abandoned home off county Road 43, Alikanna, on Monday afternoon, said Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla.

Cristian Skidmore, 29, of Weirton became a suspect in the series of armed robberies on Monday by detectives with Weirton Police and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, Abdalla said.

The Marathon gas station located at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and McHendry Street, Weirton, was robbed by an armed suspect at about 4:30 p.m. Friday. Pytash Country Market on state Route 213, Steubenville, was robbed at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Then the 7-11 on Pennsylvania Avenue, Weriton, was robbed late Monday morning.

Abdalla said Weirton Police had a couple suspects and were working with county sheriff’s detectives comparing notes put on the counters at the Pytash Country Market and the Marathon gas station. Security cameras at the 7-11 convenience store in Weirton captured a picture of the robber, who would be identified by a county sheriff’s deputy as Skidmore, Abdalla said.

At around the time this was unfolding, the sheriff’s department got a call from Skidmore’s grandfather saying Cristian Skidmore had stolen a shotgun from the grandfather, the sheriff said.

Deputies went to the house in Alikanna where Skidmore’s mother lived and noticed the abandoned house next door, Abdalla said. The sheriff said the doors were locked and a chair was propped up against the inside of a door.

Abdalla said the door was kicked open and Skidmore was found in a chair. He apparently first tried to cut his wrist and then turned the shotgun on himself, the sheriff said.

Clothing Skidmore was wearing and other evidence found in the house linked him to the three robberies, Abdalla said.

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