MAYVILLE - A 42-year-old unemployed former oral historian with the Marine Corps traveled from his Virginia home to Clymer, where he is believed to have sought out and then killed Clymer School Superintendent Keith L. Reed Jr. last Friday, investigators say.
Anthony R. Taglianetti II, of Woodbridge, Va., was identified as the prime suspect in Reed's death at a Thursday afternoon news conference by Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace and District Attorney David W. Foley.
"He is who we believe is responsible for the death of Mr. Reed," Gerace said. "This is not a random act of violence. This individual wanted to do harm to Mr. Reed."
Gerace added the attack "had nothing to do with [Reed's] employment at the school."
Reed, 51, who was superintendent since last November, was shot multiple times outside of his home on Clymer-Sherman Road. His body was found Monday about 150 feet from his home by a sheriff's K-9 unit.
Gerace said Chautauqua County law enforcement agencies have been in contact with sheriff's officials in Prince William County, Va., just south of Washington, D.C., where Taglianetti is believed to have returned after Reed's death.
"Mr. Taglianetti is at large right now," Gerace said Thursday afternoon. "We are doing everything in our power to find him and get him apprehended and question him."
A nationwide law enforcement bulletin has been issued for Taglianetti, the sheriff said, adding that local police and those in Virginia are actively looking for him.
"We consider him to be armed and dangerous," Gerace added.
Taglianetti is described as a 6-foot, 250-pound white male. Besides being a former Marine, Taglianetti, according to public records, is a licensed hunter and fisherman in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
"We have information that puts Mr. Taglianetti in Clymer on Friday," Foley said. "We believe he is in Virginia at this time."
Authorities said Taglianetti has no identifiable connection to Western New York and no prior record of serious crimes.
Public records show he was arrested in June 2007 on a misdemeanor reckless-driving charge in Virginia for allegedly driving 71 mph in a 45 mph zone. That charge was dismissed, however, in September 2007, records show.
Authorities were withholding additional details of the crime and the suspected motive in the case other than to say it was "personal" and not "professional" in nature.
Gerace and Foley continuously rebuffed reporters' questions about Taglianetti's suspected motive, details about the shooting, the type of weapon used, number of shots fired and where Reed was shot.
What is known, however, is that Reed was last seen alive at about 8:30 to 8:45 p.m. at his stately home set off behind an expansive front yard.
Reed, who lived alone with his dog, was first reported missing over the weekend, authorities said, after he failed to show up for a scheduled event and then could not be contacted by school officials, which was drastically out of character for him.
Chautauqua County sheriff's officials initiated a search after colleagues filed a missing-person's report. At about 9 a.m. Monday, a sheriff's K-9 dog found Reed's body on his property. He had been shot several times, police said.
A funeral service for Reed, who colleagues and neighbors have said was dedicated to his job and well-liked in the school district, will be held at 2 p.m. today at the United Congregational Methodist Church in Salamanca. He will be buried in Crawford Cemetery in Salamanca.
An Olean native, Reed was a Salamanca High School graduate who went on to earn a bachelor's degree at St. Bonaventure University. He later earned a pair of master's degrees - one in education and another in administration - from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania, according to an obituary published in the Olean Times Herald.
Reed, who is survived by his parents, Keith Sr. and the former Shirley Spink of Salamanca, has three daughters, Katelynn Olin, and Megan and Allison Reed, who all live in Horseheads. He also is survived by a brother, Kevin, of Kill Buck.
Reed's family, friends, colleagues and members of the Clymer School Board went to the O'Rourke & O'Rourke Funeral Home on River Street in Salamanca on Thursday to pay respects.
Many said they had heard the news of the manhunt for Taglianetti.
Taglianetti, who himself has a pair of master's degrees, was featured in alumni notes in a spring 2008 on-line publication at the University at Albany.
In it, Taglianetti described himself as "a full-time oral historian" with the Marine Corps Historical Division Oral History Branch, a post he had held since 2006. At that time, Taglianetti was to "become director of the Oral History Branch" and was "awaiting approval of a workshop proposal for the 2008 Oral History Association Convention" in Pittsburgh.
The Sheriff's and District Attorney's offices in Chautauqua County are being assisted in the investigation by State Police and the FBI.
Gerace said investigators are "going to use all available resources" to locate and apprehend Taglianetti but asked for the public's help. Anyone with knowledge of Taglianetti's whereabouts is encouraged not to approach him but to call a local law enforcement agency's emergency number or the Sheriff's Office at 753-4232.
News Staff Reporter Maki Becker and the Associated Press contributed to this report. email: email@example.com