The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 13, 2013

Neighbors fear killer

SUNBURY — Hill Neighborhood residents fear a homicide after the body of a middle-aged man was found in the back yard of a Catawissa Avenue home on Tuesday.

Neither Sunbury police nor Northumberland County Coroner James Kelley would confirm late Tuesday whether the man, who Kelley said was in his 40s, was murdered.

Northumberland County District Attorney Anthony Rosini and Assistant District Attorney Ann Targonski were also at the scene.

Police Chief Steve Mazzeo did say: “We have a deceased person. It is under investigation. ... The death is questionable and we are investigating.”

City police are withholding the identification of the man pending notification of relatives.

The body was found at the rear of 240 Catawissa Ave., near an alley between Catawissa and Fairmount avenues, police said Tuesday.

Kelley pronounced the man dead at the scene at 11:49 a.m. and removed the body four hours later.

A neighbor who asked to remain anonymous said she received a text message from a relative who asked her to look in the back of the house at 240 Catawissa Ave.

“I didn’t see anything,” she said, “so I texted back and said so.”

“You need to look in the alley” came another text.

When she went into the alley near the house, she saw garbage cans that had been turned over.

“That’s when I saw the body,” she said. “There it was. I knew he was dead. It shocked the hell out of me.”

Mazzeo would only say the man was dead when police arrived, that the death was “possibly suspicious” and that homicide detectives were on the scene.

Other neighbors, who also spoke only on the condition of anonymity, said they are shocked and panicked at what they believe was a homicide.

“If this is what people are saying, then it is very scary,” a man said. “Why up here in the Hill Neighborhood?”

Sunbury police asked for assistance from state police, Mazzeo said. Troopers arrived around 1:30 p.m.

Kelley, Rosini and Targonski were huddled near a gold hatchback vehicle parked in the yard, where the body was discovered.

Sunbury police Cpl. Jaime Quinn is leading the investigation, Mazzeo said. Witnesses or those with tips are asked to call Quinn at (570) 286-4584, Extension 125, or Northumberland County Emergency Services at (570) 988-4539.

While Mazzeo would not confirm whether the death appeared to be an isolated incident, he did say: “I do not think the public is in danger.”

City police taped off the area to prevent people from getting near the home, with Mazzeo saying police didn’t know “the full extent of the crime scene.”

Other neighbors said they didn’t hear anything unusual in the area leading up to the arrival of police Tuesday morning. Many also expressed concerns about the safety of the area, which some say is usually a quiet part of the city.

“This is something you watch on TV and see in Wilkes-Barre and that area,” an unidentified woman said. “To have something like this happen here in our neighborhood is scary. I only hope it turns out to be a different story then what people are saying.”

It is not known why the man was in the yard or who owns the property.

If classified a homicide, it would be the second homicide in the Valley this year. In, the February death of 71-year-old Bonnie Jean Snook was declared a homicide with Snook’s grandson, Joshua Snook, of Sunbury, and his wife, Jennifer Snook, facing trials in Snyder County.

Text Only
  • Tawny Dog owners not surprised to learn pooches get jealous

    DANVILLE — Dogs are often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows that pooches can get a little green over how much time you spend with other canines.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lottery Big lottery payouts pay off for seniors

    HARRISBURG — State lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donations to Budd family near $60,000

    SHAMOKIN DAM — The Valley continues to give as fundraisers keep forming and donations steadily pour in for the Budd family, of Ohio, while Sharon Budd continues her fight back from drastic injuries suffered when a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass in Union County slammed through the windshield of the family’s vehicle three weeks ago.

    July 30, 2014

  • B-17 fly-over to honor 'Dutch' VanKirk

    NORTHUMBERLAND — A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress will soar in honor of the late Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk during his graveside services Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

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.