The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

July 25, 2013

Police mum on corpse moved into Sunbury

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

SUNBURY — The body of a 33-year-old Selinsgrove resident found Sunday morning in a Sunbury home’s backyard may have been moved there from Northumberland, sources close to the investigation said Wednesday.

City police consider the circumstances surrounding the death of J. Craig Landis as “suspicious.” Police would not confirm that Landis’ body was dragged out of a house in Northumberland and driven to Sunbury, as sources said.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” Northumberland Police Chief Butch Kriner said Wednesday.

“We do know there was a girl that Sunbury police were interested in speaking with and she is from Northumberland but I am not aware of anything else at this time.”

Landis’ body was found in the backyard of John “Bullwinkle” Wertz, of South Front Street. City police said they have spoken with Wertz but would not release additional information.

“We have been working with various unnamed agencies,” Sunbury Police Chief Steve Mazzeo said. “I won’t comment any further about what those findings are until this investigation is complete.”

Northumberland County Coroner Jim Kelley said the Landis death is suspicious because of information police are receiving.

“We saw no signs of apparent trauma,” Kelley said Wednesday. “We are waiting for other testing to come back, but this is labeled suspicious because of information from the police.”

Kelley would not say whether drugs played a part in the death.

Mazzeo also would not confirm whether the death was drug related, but did say police have received information about the Valley receiving lethal drugs.

On Monday police began to receive word from neighbors and alleged witnesses close to the investigation that Landis was dragged out of the Wertz home and placed in the back yard.

Mazzeo refused to comment but said police have been interviewing several people.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sunbury officer Cory Zerbe or officer Brad Slack at 570-286-4584 or 911.

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