A call to a Treesdale home at about 1 a.m. Saturday for an underage drinking party turned into a major investigation that uncovered illegal drugs and chemicals that might be used for explosives, according to Police Chief Bob Amann.
In addition, a 20-year-old man was hospitalized after police said they found him unresponsive and incoherent in the game room of the house in the 2000 block of Condor Lane in Pine Township, Amann said at a 7 p.m. press conference.
While checking the house to see if others were in the same condition, Amann said officers came across what appeared to be a clandestine drug lab.
Investigators ruled out a meth lab, but they did find illegal mushrooms being dried and a large amount of marijuana, he said.
They also found more than 12 different types of chemicals, which are being tested, he said.
The FBI, Pennsylvania State Police and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called in to investigate at the home, Amann said. Police also summoned the Allegheny County Bomb Squad and a county Hazmat team.
The only people at home at the time of the party were a 20-year-old who was with a 14-year-old resident, the chief said.
“But the 14-year-old was not down in the game room at the party," Amann said.
A number of party-goers fled when police arrived, but officers interviewed eight people, Amann said.
The two-story, 3,550-square-foot home is owned by Theresa Gaugler, according to Allegheny County property records. Neighbors said Gaugler is divorced and has four daughters and one son.
However, an email received from Mark Lucero, president of Beverage Brands Inc., states:
"Theresa Gaugler is not the spokesmodel for the White Diamond Vodka Brand. Aside from a one-time appearance as a model in a television advertisement produced last year for our company, she has no official affiliation with, and in no way represents, our brand of products."
In a follow-up article to this one, I clarified model Theresa Gaugler’s status as a spokesmodel. Here is a link to that article http://patch.com/A-sYJ0
In an email and phone conversation, Gaugler maintained that she was called a spokesmodel in promotional material for a December event at the Wine Loft in Southside.
Gaugler said she put that on her Facebook and Twitter accounts and promoted the event through them.
She emailed me a copy of the party invitation that states: “Enjoy a night of glamour with White Diamond Vokda spokesmodel, Theresa Gaugler on site!!”
Gaugler also supplied a photo of herself at the Wine Loft event. (See above.)
After Gaugler's name was published as the owner of the home in the April 24 investigation, she said she deactivated her Facebook and Twitter accounts temporarily "because the media was stealing photos to put on the news reports."
She said she worked for the vodka company from October through Christmas and the ads continued to run after that.
As for being a Wilhemina model, another news source reported that the agency in New York, Los Angeles and Miami said they had no record of her. Gaugler said she works out of Wilhemina’s Columbus office.
Police have filed no charges in the incident, but the chief said that is likely to change.
“Everything is under investigation. We’ll be talking with the district attorney’s office on Monday and charges are pending at this time," said Amann.
The family is not allowed back into the home until a hazmat team cleans it to make it habitable, he said.
Authorities asked neighbors to leave the area for a few hours during the investigation, said Amann. One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said the home has been the site of past parties.
and McCandless-Franklin Park Ambulance Authority were on standby on Condor Lane from about 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Asked why the investigation took so long, Amann said: “When you deal with explosive materials, you want to be careful because it is very dangerous.”
Check back with Patch for updates.
Northern Regional police have blocked off a portion of Condor Lane Saturday while police, fire, bomb squad and hazmat officials investigate a home in the Treesdale community of Pine Township.
The Allegheny County Bomb Squad and an Allegheny County Hazmat team have been at the home in the 2000 block of Condor Lane for several hours. Authorities would not comment on the investigation.
Neighbors on Condor Lane reported seeing an ambulance sometime after 1 a.m. Saturday after a party at the home. The bomb squad and police arrived later in the morning.
Wexford Volunteer Fire Co. was called at 9:48 a.m., a fire official said.
Standing on a lawn with a cluster of other Treesdale neighbors, Joann Reilly said any police presence is unusual in the quiet community.
"It's a very quiet, safe community," she said. "It's a safe place to live. We don't have any problems."
Check back with Patch for updates to this developing story.