Authorities have taken a 29-year-old man into custody and are questioning him in connection with the death of his mother, who was found shortly before noon Monday.
Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey said the body of Gwenda Lisman, 57, was discovered in her home at 227 Mud Road, in the rural town of Ephratah. He said the house “was in a bit of disarray” when investigators arrived and her death is now being considered suspicious.
Early Monday evening, deputies put out an alert to be on the lookout for a green 1997 Mercedes Benz driven by James F. Dibble — Lisman’s son. A short time later, authorities took Dibble in for questioning after spotting him driving the Mercedes in Mayfield, about 20 miles away from the home where his mother’s body was discovered.
“He’s being questioned as we speak,” Lorey said.
Dibble has yet to be charged with a crime.
Lorey called him a person of interest and said he had been arguing recently with his mother, but stopped short of implicating him in her death.
“We’re investigating it as if it were a crime,” he said.
Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira was with Lorey on Monday evening as investigators questioned Dibble. A news conference is scheduled for 11 this morning at the Sheriff’s Department in Johnstown, where authorities intend to give further details about the circumstances surrounding Lisman’s death.
Dibble has a criminal record, including convictions that landed him time in jail, The Gazette previously reported.
As a teenager in 2001, he was arrested on a felony criminal contempt charge for allegedly violating an order of protection that barred him from threatening family members; the outcome of that case could not be determined Monday.
Two years later, Dibble admitted to burglarizing a home in Mayfield and was sentenced to up to three years in prison. While awaiting sentencing, Dibble was caught with a small red balloon full of marijuana; he admitted to one count of attempted promotion of prison contraband and was given a 16-month-to-four-year term running concurrent to his burglary conviction.