Postal worker fatally shot; man charged believed mail carrier poisoned him, feds say

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Collier Township, Pa. — A former neighbor of a US Postal Service employee in Pennsylvania confessed to officers that he fatally shot her because she believed the mail carrier had previously poisoned her and her family with cyanide , a federal official said.

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Eric Cortz, 53, turned himself in for the shooting death of Louis Vignon on Thursday while Vignon was on his way in Collier Township outside Pittsburgh, US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Stephen Kaufman said in a statement.

News outlets reported that Vignon was shot at around 10 a.m. Thursday while he was delivering mail. Federal officials said Cortz told investigators that he stood in front of the USPS vehicle and stopped, then opened fire. According to an affidavit, he then dropped the gun and went to a city police department to report what he had done.

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Cortz also told investigators that he and Vignon used to be neighbors. Cortz said he believed Vignon and Vignon’s family poisoned him and his family when the families lived close to each other.

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Cortz was charged with the murder of a United States employee and a shotgun charge.

Kortz virtually appeared in court on Thursday and was held in federal custody until his next hearing on Tuesday. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Kortz was appointed a public defender. According to the Post-Gazette, the Public Defender’s office in Pittsburgh has a policy of not commenting on news outlets.

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