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Tied to a tree, man dies, 2 charged

Published May 30. 2012 05:01PM

Two Schuylkill County men are jailed, charged with the murder of another county resident by tying him to a tree for 20 hours in extreme heat.

State police at Schuylkill Haven identified the suspects as Keith Allen Reber, 48, of 294 Meadow Drive, Schuylkill Haven, and Daniel W. Dull, 25, of 115 Station Rd., Orwigsburg.

The two are charged in the death of Bryan Robert Smith, 26, of Orwigsburg.

Troopers said both men are charged with criminal homicide, unlawful restraint, kidnapping, aggravated and simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and criminal conspiracy-to commit homicide.

The two were arraigned Tuesday evening before District Judge James Ferrier, of Orwigsburg, and remanded to the county prison in Pottsville without bail. Under state law no bail is set in a homicide case by a DJ.

Troopers said during the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 29, they were contacted by Schuylkill Haven borough police to respond to their station. Troopers learned that Reber and Dull went to the borough police station to report the death of Smith.

Troopers developed the following information.

Dull and Reber told investigators that they led Smith into the woods located behind Reber's house in South Manheim Township. Dull and Reber then proceeded to tie Smith to a tree with a flex cuff or a zip tie binding and left him there alone for about 20 hours. Dull and Reber then told officers that after a period of time they went back to check on Smith and found him dead. Both then left the scene and drove to the borough police station to report what they had done.

Troopers said Smith's body was found in a secluded area on the property of Reber. The body was found after Reber and Dull provided police with the location.

Troopers said it was also learned from Dull and Reber that they had transported Smith to the location at Reber's property. Once there, Reber obtained a pistol along with flex cuffs to bind Smith. Dull and Reber then led Smith to the secluded section of the property.

At this point they had Smith sit on the ground with his back to a tree. They then bound his hands together behind his back with his arms around the tree. Smith's ankles were then bound and a gag was tied around his mouth. Dull and Reber then left Smith in that location for about 20 hours during which time the area was experiencing high heat and humidity, troopers said.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for today to determine the exact cause of death, troopers added.

The investigation into the homicide is continuing. Troopers did not give any motive as to why Reber and Dull tied Smith to a tree and left him alone for such a long period of time.

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