Cause of death in murder still pending
The cause of death for a Schuylkill County man, who was tied to a tree for 20 hours in extreme heat, is still pending following an autopsy that was conducted yesterday.
State police at Schuylkill Haven said an autopsy on the victim, Bryan R. Smith, 26, of Orwigsburg, did not determine the exact cause of death. The autopsy was conducted at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center, West Reading, by forensic pathologist Dr. Neil Hoffman.
Troopers said the autopsy included toxicology testing. It will take two to three weeks for those results, troopers said. After receiving the toxicology testing results a cause of death should be made available.
Smith was exposed to extreme heat.
Troopers have charged Keith A. Reber, 48, of 294 Meadow Drive, Schuylkill Haven, and Daniel W. Dull, 25, of 115 Station Rd., Orwigsburg, in connection with the death.
Troopers charged that the two took Smith to a secluded wooded area on Reber's property about 3 a.m. on Monday, tied him to a tree and left him their for 20 hours. When they returned about 11 p.m. Monday they found him dead. The two then went to the Schuylkill Haven borough police station and told what they had done. Borough police then called state police. Troopers noted there was extreme heat and humidity on Monday which Smith was exposed to.
Troopers upgraded the charges filed in the case. Reber has been charged with one count each of criminal homicide, aggravated and simple assault, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, recklessly endangering another person, persons not to possess, use or manufacture firearms, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, and six counts of criminal conspiracy.
Dull has been charged with one count each of criminal homicide, aggravated and simple assault, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, recklessly endangering another person, and six counts of criminal conspiracy.
The two were arraigned on Tuesday before District Judge James Ferrier, of Orwigsburg, and committed to the county prison in Pottsville, without bail.
Troopers have not listed a motive for the incident and the investigation is continuing.