A Pennsylvania man allegedly gunned down his father and then tried to snuff the smell of the decomposing body in the family’s home with candles and air fresheners.
Tyler Swantek, 24, was charged Friday in connection with the death of his father, who police say Swantek shot four times in the head with a high-powered rifle earlier this year.
After being asked to do a welfare check on the father, who had not been seen by friends for weeks, officers on May 24 went to the family’s home in Frackville, Pennsylvania, about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
The father had been dead for weeks when police entered the house. They immediately encountered a foul odor and flies, and then discovered the corpse on a couch on the first floor of the home, WBRE reports.
The body was “badly decomposed” and covered by multiple blankets and pillows, according to WNEP. Officers saw four round holes they believed to be gunshot wounds on the right side of the victim’s forehead.
The day after police found the body, Swantek was arrested on drug charges. He refused to discuss the death with investigators and “showed no reaction to the fact there was a dead body inside the home and that it may be his father,” the Standard-Speaker reports.
Investigators talked with people who said Swantek and his dad had been having arguments and that Swantek allegedly said he would “kill his father,” Frackville Police Chief Richard Bell said.
Further interviews revealed that Swantek would not let people inside the home since mid-April and that he had asked a friend to purchase scented candles and incense — items that police found in the home that may have been used to mask the odor of the decomposing corpse.
Officers also found a high-powered air rifle in Swantek’s bedroom, blood on the barrel of the gun and a canister containing pellets. Those pellets matched the pellets found in the body during an autopsy, WBRE reports.
Swantek has been charged with criminal homicide, first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse, among other charges. He was in court on Friday for an arraignment, where Judge Charles Miller called Swantek “a danger to himself and society.”
Swantek later walked out of the courthouse showing little emotion, WNEP reports. He remains in the Schuylkill County Prison without bail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 3.
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