A path of her own: Beaver native goes from young mom to forensic criminologist

BEAVER — When Laura Pettler was 17, it would have been easy for someone who didn’t really know her to assume that she didn’t have much of a future ahead of her, that she would be another statistic.

As a teenage mother who struggled to graduate from Beaver Area High School, self-determination kicked in. A lifelong interest in serving her community, along with a love of mysteries and detective work, began to shape her path.


Pettler grew up on Fourth Street in Beaver. Surrounded by family, friends and neighbors, Pettler said she had a wonderful childhood. She remains close to some of her elementary school friends. She loved music and played in musical theater, including a production of Annie Get Your Gun at the Brodhead Cultural Center. She also participated in academic games and Girl Scouts.

Another interest was piqued during her younger years: crime.

Pettler grew

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