West Penn police investigate suspicious death
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
West Penn Township police and the Schuylkill County Office of the Coroner are investigating a suspicious death with the discovery of a body early Tuesday morning in the parking lot of the Village Center mall. The site is at the intersection of state routes 309 and 895. Workers at a nearby children's day care center noticed the car, parked in front of the Blue Mountain Animal Clinic, when they opened up at 6 a.m. The car was not familiar, and when they looked in they saw a man sitting in the front seat, unresponsive. Emergency personnel of the Penn Mahoning ambulance responded to the scene. The man was identified as Walter Schmidtberg, 46, of Palmerton. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Larry Neff at 7:30 a.m. Schmidtberg, who lived with his mother at 697 First St., was driving her car. Due to the scene of death being so close to the day care center, West Penn Chief of Police Brian Johnson ordered the car towed from the scene by Soley's Towing of West Penn Township. The body was then removed in a secure and remote site.