The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 22, 2013

Man's death considered suspicious

— SUNBURY — The case of a man found dead Sunday morning in the vicinity of South Front Street now is considered to have “suspicious circumstances,” Sunbury police said.

After the news broke about a body being discovered near 964 S. Front St., city police received several tips from residents that the body of J. Craig Landis, 33, of Selinsgrove, may have been dragged out of a house, neighbors said.

John “Bullwinkle” Wartz lives at the South Front Street home, police said, but they would not confirm where the body was discovered. Neighbors are saying Landis, who was employed by the New Cumberland Army Depot, was found in the back yard of the home.

Police said they have spoken with Wartz about the circumstances surrounding Landis’ death but would not release other information.

“We are working with the Northumberland County coroner’s office,” Police Chief Steve Mazzeo said. “There are suspicious details around this, and we are asking for the public’s help with anything they may know.”

City police are asking anyone who knows Landis or Wartz and was in the area Sunday to contact the department.

“Anyone with information should call us immediately,” Mazzeo said. “Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.”

Mazzeo would not say whether the death was drug-related, but said police have received information about the Greater Susquehanna Valley receiving lethal drugs.

“The word on the street is there could be bad heroin floating around the Valley,” he said. “We can’t confirm this, but we are receiving this information.”

An unknown male was found in a home in Northumberland last week, and a drug overdose was suspected, but no other information was released by police.

Earlier this month, Shamokin police said two people overdosed in a city apartment. Police were dispatched to 313 E. Sunbury St., where Joseph Witkowski, 26, of 622 Scott St., Kulpmont, and Jody Bower, 30, of 707 W. Chestnut St., Shamokin, were found on the bathroom floor.

Bower was unconscious and had a needle stuck in her arm, police said, while Witkowski was conscious and talking. Both were taken to a hospital for treatment, according to police.

Six bags containing heroin and the needle were recovered, Shamokin police said.

The possibility that Landis’ body was moved from a house was information that police would not discuss.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” Mazzeo said. “We are still gathering information, and we are conducting interviews.”

Northumberland County Coroner Jim Kelley was on vacation but said an autopsy was performed Monday at the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown. Results are pending.

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

Text Only
  • Grandmother: Suspect vowed to slash any cop

    Erick Trometter told his grandmother she belonged in the grave, and that if a cop ever showed up at the residence they shared in the city, he would “stab them.”

    July 10, 2014

  • Lewis_HopeC2014.jpg County jail failed suicidal husband, young widow says

    Five days into another stint at Northumberland County Prison, Cyrus Lewis, a depressed heroin addict, was able to do on the inside what he failed to do on the outside.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • About 400 customers remain without electricity in four-county region

    Updated at 8:45 a.m.

    LEWISBURG — About 400 homes and businesses remain without electrical service this morning in the wake of strong thunderstorms that marched across the region Tuesday evening.

    July 10, 2014

  • Clausi: 2 deaths under warden in one year are "unacceptable"

    Two suicides within a year under Warden Roy Johnson’s watch are unacceptable, says a county commissioner who with a colleague has fielded numerous phone calls from relatives of inmates who say they have been abused inside Northumberland County Prison.

    July 10, 2014

  • Judge considers withdrawal of murder-for-hire plea

    WILKES-BARRE — A federal judge will decide whether a Florida man can withdraw his guilty plea in what authorities allege was an attempt to hire a northeastern Pennsylvania man to kill his ex-wife.

    July 10, 2014

  • penn.jpg Work begins at 42-acre Commons

    Infrastructure preparation is under way at the Pennsylvania House Commons property, as the 42-acre East Buffalo Township site is being readied for drainage, roads and other support systems necessary before buildings go up, the developer said Wednesday.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4.jpg City seeks $100G for 14th cop

    With up to a third of its 13-person police force on either administrative leave, vacation or rehabilitating from injuries, Sunbury is seeking state and federal grants to cover the $100,000 cost associated with hiring a 14th officer, Mayor David Persing said.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern team wins national FBLA contest; Selinsgrove 8th in another category

    NASHVILLE — A team of three Southern Columbia High School students took first place in the managements informations systems category and a team of three Selinsgrove Area High School students took eighth place in the category of marketing at the Future Business Leaders of America’s national leadership conference.

    July 9, 2014

  • Hynoski gives 5 Mifflinburg boys a workout

    LEWISBURG — Five young friends from Mifflinburg put a notch in their football pads Wednesday as they got a workout like no other: side by side with Henry Hynoski, New York Giants fullback and Elysburg native.

    July 9, 2014

  • More than 1,000 in Valley still without power

    LEWISBURG — PPL is bringing in crews from as far north as Maine and as far south as North Carolina to restore power to its customers as quickly as possible following Tuesday’s storm.

    July 9, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.