Dearing and Harner

Kaliah Dearing, left, and Natasha Harner

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HARRISBURG — A city man has been arrested in the killings of two stepsisters last week.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said police will charge 22-year-old Jeremiah Battle with two counts of first-degree murder in the Nov. 9 shootings of 16-year-old Kaliah Dearing and 24-year-old Natasha Harner.

Battle also faces a charge of burglary for breaking into the home in the 2200 block of Logan Street and an additional count of tampering with evidence. The district attorney said Battle disposed of the gun used for the killings, and it has not yet been recovered.

Marsico did not disclose a motive but said Battle was “acquainted” with at least one of the sisters and perhaps knew both victims and an older sister who lived with them. He said police are still investigating whether the older sister was home at the time of the killings or arrived later to find the bodies.

He said the first-degree murder charges allege Battle went into the home with the intent to kill.

Police Chief Thomas Carter said cooperation from the public helped police to make the arrest. He said investigators put nearly 1,000 hours into solving the case.

“My resources were almost shot, but we didn’t give up. We didn’t quit. There were a lot of sleepless nights,” he said.

The arrest followed a search of a home in the 1700 block of North Street in the city’s Allison Hill neighborhood around 6 a.m. Thursday. According to a search warrant affidavit, police went to the home looking for a 9 mm handgun, ammunition, a cellphone and clothing with blood stains.

Marsico said Battle was cooperative with police and did not resist his arrest.

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