Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Joseph McCunney can chalk up an honor for his dedication to duty. The Concordville Chadds Ford Rotary gave McCunney its first ever "Trooper of the Year" award during a Dec. 20 luncheon on the Concord Country Club.
McCunney has been the lead investigator on the Warner murder case in Chadds Ford since the bodies of Miles and Mary Warner were found shot to death in their Atwater Road home on Dec. 10, 2002.
McCunney had just been assigned to the Criminal Investigation Unit that month and the Warner case was his first as lead investigator.
"Joe worked hard on this case," said Sgt. Gary Fasy, McCunney's section supervisor. "We really wanted to know what happened to Miles and Mary."
Barrack's commander Lt. Thomas McClung recommended McCunney for the honor.
"I was looking for someone who best exemplifies the core values of the State Police. There is no greater duty of any police officer than speaking for those that can't speak for themselves, namely the victims of homicide. As the lead on two homicides that were cleared during this year, Tpr. Joe McCunney was a great example of providing extraordinary service to the citizens of Delaware County." McClung said.
McCunney, a 12-year veteran of the State Police, was appreciative of the honor from the Rotary.
"Sometimes it's a thankless job," McCunney said, "but something like this I really appreciate."
The award was given one week after Walter Rosengarth was arrested in the Warner case, four years after the bodies were found.
But McCunney says it wasn't his efforts that broke the case.
"One hundred percent of the credit goes to Hilarie Showalter," the troope said.
Hilarie Showalter is secretary to Judge Howard Riley who tried Rosengarth for the 2003 shooting of two Chester County sheriff's deputies.
Showalter was stapling together psychiatrist reports dated December 2003 in February of this year when she noticed Rosengarth had mention people named Miles and Mary, saying they had poisoned him.
Showalter made the connection and contacted police.
"It's a weight off my shoulders," McCunney said.