Police charge woman with convincing her Army veteran ex-boyfriend to take his own life

Mandie Reusch (right), 35, is accused of aiding the suicide of Kevin Metzger (left), 37.

Jeff Himler
Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.

A South Greensburg woman is charged with aiding suicide, stemming from the death of a former boyfriend, Kevin Metzger, whom she is accused of urging to take his own life in repeated harassing messages.

Police said the messages were graphic in content and were sent using a mobile app between May 5 and June 18, 2021, while the defendant, Mandie Rose Reusch, 35, was living in Irwin. She also is charged with harassment.

At the time, according to a complaint filed by state police, Reusch had an “on-and-off relationship” with Metzger, who listed her Irwin address as his home and was storing personal items there.

According to police, Reusch also sent Metzger messages and a video taunting him about her involvement with another man. The messages included threats that the boyfriend would “never ever see” again a child they shared, police said.

In one of the messages, according to court documents, Reusch expressed hope Metzger would kill himself and said their child “would be better off not even knowing you.”

Reusch said in another message to Metzger, according to police, “I hope you kill yourself. I’m getting (the child) a new dad this weekend.”

On Mother’s Day 2021, she texted Metzger to say she would be having sex with her new partner as their daughter ‘calls him daddy,’ according to Daily Mail.

“Another message said that Metzger would ‘burn in hell’ and that she would be dancing on his grave,” the Mail reports. 

In an additional message, Reusch argued about money Metzger had sent her and said she had damaged his belongings, according to court documents.

Metzger reported the messages and video on May 8, 2021, to Irwin police. An Irwin officer instructed Reusch to stop sending inappropriate messages to the boyfriend, but the messages continued, according to court documents.

Irwin police filed harassment charges against Reusch on June 3, 2021, but the charges ultimately were withdrawn after Metzger committed suicide about two weeks later, state police said.

In older messages from December 2020, police said, Reusch told Metzger, “So glad I used you for what little money you have. … That was the only good thing you’ve ever done for me and the kids. Your money.”

In cellphone messages, Reusch claimed the Metzger did not want to co-parent with Reusch and said she was not giving their child to him, police said. Messages sent in May 2021 indicated she would try to make sure the boyfriend would not see their child on Father’s Day, according to court documents.

On the day of his death, police said, Metzger posted to his public Facebook account messages he had received from Reusch and messaged to a friend, “This gets known to the world,” adding, “I can’t do this anymore. She needs punished. The courts are too slow.”

When another friend asked police to check on Metzger’s welfare, they found him dead in his apartment along with a letter that began by stating, “maybe she was right,” according to court documents.

Reusch was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Rebecca C. Tyburski and was placed in the Westmoreland County jail after failing to post $150,000 straight bail. She faces a June 27 preliminary hearing.

Reusch’s attorney, Phil DiLucente, said Tuesday afternoon he expected his client to be released soon on bail and noted he “argued vigorously” for a nonmonetary bond.

DiLucente said Reusch “feels as if the justice system has failed her. Here she is in a very emotional and volatile relationship, one where there’s a child involved. She may have said some emotional things that were memorialized in texts, but there were texts that went back and forth.”

He said Metzger’s suicide was “a very sad situation. To suggest that my client was the one, under the statute, who aided in that and intentionally caused it by force, duress or deception, is wrong.”

DiLucente said he couldn’t comment on the earlier charges filed by Irwin police or on what might have triggered the messages in the case. He said there are two sides to such quarrels.

“The other side will be heard very soon,” he said.

The charges against Reusch resulted from a two-year investigation, according to Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli.

Ziccarelli said Metzger “may still be here today if those messages did not influence and encourage him to take his own life.”

She said the messages were “continuous and unrelenting for months.

“We will not allow or tolerate this kind of egregious behavior. The level of bullying, harassment and threats rose to a criminal level in this particular case, and we will prosecute it to the fullest extent of the law.”

Trooper Steve Limani, state police public information officer at the Greensburg station, said police and the District Attorney’s Office completed a lengthy investigation of data from the messaging app and a review of similar cases before the latest, more serious charges were filed against Reusch.

The officials “felt that this was more severe than some of the cases that they had reviewed where the person was found guilty,” Limani said. “There were other cases that were less persistent, less detailed, with less physical evidence, and they had moved forward.”

He said Reusch was “relentless and unwavering” in the messages she sent to Metzger. “This was one of the most extreme cases of bullying.

According to his obituary, Metzger served in the US Army for almost twenty years before transferring to the Army Reserves.

“When you’re talking about telling somebody to take their own life and then constantly putting stress on them that might make them take action, there’s a chance you might be held accountable for that.”

Ziccarelli said “suicide is never the solution” and indicated help is available by calling 988, the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 800-273-8255 or by texting TALK to 741741.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff by email at jhimler@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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