Coal Township Police say they have a male suspect who is connected to the death of a woman found lying in the middle of the street just blocks from her home last month.
Coal Township Police Chief Ed Purcell confirmed police have a suspect. He declined to release a name at this time. “Charges are pending,” he said Tuesday. “We will be releasing more soon.”
Purcell did not say if the male was in custody.
According to police, 21-year-old Cheyenne Swartz was discovered badly injured while laying alone in the middle of a street on May 21. Swartz was found unresponsive and suffering a severe head injury while laying in the middle of West Arch Street. An off-duty emergency medical technician cared for Swartz prior to the arrival of an ambulance crew, according to police. Northumberland County 911 received the first report of the incident at 11:48 p.m.
On Friday, Shamokin District Judge John Gembic authorized a search warrant of a vehicle police believed may have been involved in the incident.
According to the document, the vehicle’s owner told Cpl. Josh Wynn that he was with Swartz before dropping her off near her home at 11:30 p.m. May 21, making him the last known person to be in her company before she suffered fatal injuries.
According to the warrant, the 1997 Jeep Cherokee that was seized was in “poor condition” and had a large crack on the driver’s side of the windshield but did not indicate in the warrant if there was additional body damage to the vehicle.
Officer Chris Lapotsky applied for the warrant to seek evidence. Swartz died May 25 at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, of multiple blunt force trauma to the head and pelvis. Montour County Coroner Scott Lynn ruled her death “suspicious.”
Swartz was in a coma for four days before her death, according to her sister, Summer Klimek, of Sunbury.
Purcell said his department has been in contact with Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz about the incident. The district attorney’s office does not confirm or deny investigations.
Purcell previously said police sought video surveillance footage and were going door-to-door in the immediate vicinity in search of any information about the incident.
“We are still putting this all together but we now have a suspect,” he said. “We will keep the public informed as much as we can.”