Pennslyvania officials said it will take weeks to positively identify a man who allegedly bludgeoned a couple to death with a hammer before lighting himself on fire in the victims’ garage.
WCAU reported that firefighters responding to a large garage fire at a Berks County home on Saturday afternoon discovered the unidentified body. The bodies of Joanne Deluca, 63, and her boyfriend, Ira Reed, Jr., 60, were reportedly located in the living room. Police said that the couple’s two cats and two dogs were also found dead at the home.
Pennsylvania State Trooper David Beohm said on Monday that one of the victims was found on the floor and the other was in a recliner. The Berks County Coroner’s Office confirmed the couple died from blunt force trauma while the unidentified man died from smoke inhalation as the result of a suicide, according to LehighValleyLive.com.
How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world-class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’.
The unidentified man was said to be burned beyond recognition and it will take approximately three weeks to identify him through DNA testing.
State police Lieutenant Scott Brennan told NBC News that it is “fair to say” that Deluca’s adult son is a suspect in this case — with Boehm revealing that he remains unaccounted for since the apparent double murder-suicide. The slain woman’s son is reportedly in his 40s and lived with the couple.
Boehm commented, “One of our veteran investigators said it was the worst crime scene he’d ever seen.”
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode:
Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most – your children.
[Featured image: WCAU video screengrab]