A Lebanon County fugitive, who fled the area in 2020 before he could be tried on charges of raping a child, was shot and killed Tuesday in Gaines Township, Tioga County.
Robert P. Uhler, 56, died from “more than one” gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, according to reports.
Tioga County Coroner James Daughtery positively identified Uhler to the Westfield Free Press-Courier on Wednesday morning. Details of the shooting were slim, although the report said Uhler was shot and killed by a U.S. Marshal’s officer in the Westfield area of Gaines Township.
According to a release from the U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane, “preliminary information is the fugitive pulled a weapon on the task force officers and in response a task force officer fired at and struck the fugitive. Task force officers immediately rendered aid to the fugitive; however, local EMS declared the fugitive deceased at the scene.”
Results of an autopsy were not immediately available.
It’s not clear from the reports what led officers to Tioga County, or how long Uhler had been staying there.
Daughtery told the Westfield Free Press-Courier that officials were trying unsuccessfully to contact Uhler’s next of kin, a sister in Rochester, New York.
The fugitive was declared missing on Sept. 11, 2020. Two weeks later, a jury deliberated just two hours before finding Uhler guilty of four counts of rape of a child, five counts of aggravated indecent assault of a child and five counts of indecent assault.
According to the Lebanon Daily News, Uhler told police in 2019 that he couldn’t remember sexually assaulting a young girl, then later admitted that he began raping the child when she was 5 years old and continued until she was about 11. The rapes occurred while Uhler was living in Jackson Township, reports said.
The victim, now in her 20s, had told a family member about the incidents in 2019.
PennLive reported just days before Uhler’s trial that he’d gone missing. Cleona Borough police began a search for him on Sept. 11, assisted by North Londonderry and Pennsylvania state police and aviation and canine units, after his car was found in the Quittapahilla Creek in North Annville Township, the newspaper reported. His family said a firearm was missing from Uhler’s home.
If Uhler had been captured alive, the Westfield Free Press-Courier reported, he faced a minimum sentence of six years to 20 years on each count of rape.
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