A man allegedly caused his ex-girlfriend’s disappearance before killing himself. Her family members, however, hold out hope that they can and will find missing woman Darlene Harbison, 59. They believe, however, that she is dead.
“This is hard on the family and it takes a toll on you mentally and physically, on everybody,” Harbison’s brother Bob Ruediger told WPXI in a Saturday report. “The expenses are adding up, but we’re gonna find her. We’re gonna find her.”
Harbison was last Sept. 11. Cops in Frazer Township, which is northeast of Pittsburgh, asked for help from the local Allegheny County police in helping find her.
“Harbison’s daughter made several attempts to contact her mother with no success,” officers said. “She then requested a welfare check through the Frazer Township Police Department.”
The two departments launched an investigation. They blame her ex-boyfriend Eric Gibbs, 57, for her going missing. Whatever secrets he had, he took to his grave.
“Through the investigation, it was learned Harbison was in a volatile relationship with 57-year-old Eric Gibbs,” officers said. “It is believed Gibbs is the person responsible for Harbison’s disappearance. On September 17, 2022, Gibbs was found deceased from an apparent suicide in West Deer Township.”
“Volatile” is tragically apt. Harbison had a protection from abuse order put out against him.
“He has picked me up and held me down in the hot tub,” she said, according to court documents obtained by WPXI.
She described an incident in which she found him in the bedroom with a half-gallon of vodka. He was holding a gun to his chin.
Gibbs also allegedly broke her car window.
He would stop her from calling police, such as by waiving his gun around or putting it to his chin, Harbison reportedly said in court documents.
“There is an immediate and present danger of further abuse,” the judge wrote.
Gibbs had reportedly violated the protection from abuse order in a June incident. He was arrested on Sept. 9 for allegedly trespassing on Harbison’s property. Gibbs was reportedly accused of pulling down his pants and exposing himself to cops in that incident. Officers reportedly took away two rifles, including one that had a wiped-out serial number.
Family have reportedly suggested that Harbison’s body is with her Suzuki motorcycle, and that Gibbs posed her with it to make her death seem like an accident.
Harbison’s loved ones and supporters were in the Butler County community of Cabot, approximately less than a half-hour drive north of Frazier Township.
“We have five different townships that we’re going to try and cover today,” Harbison’s sister Betty Hoffman said. “Each of those townships is broken down to eight or nine areas.”
“We’re grieving and I would like any family would,” Harbison’s cousin Michael Christie said. “We just want to bring her home and put her to rest. We’re moving on every day and we’re just trying to honor her. And try to bring her home.”
From Allegheny County officers in October:
Anyone who has seen Harbison, Gibbs or any of the pictured vehicles on or about September 10 through the 13 is asked to call the Allegheny County Police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477); callers can remain anonymous. The department can also be reached via its social media sites.
Gibbs was linked to these vehicles, cops said:
[Images via Allegheny County Police Department]
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