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Suspect questioned in NC

  • Anthony Darrell Heath
    Anthony Darrell Heath was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle belonging to murder victim Angela Steigerwalt.
Published February 04. 2014 05:00PM

An Allentown man is being held by police in Kinston, N.C., after being nabbed while driving the car owned by a Tamaqua woman who was murdered.

Anthony Darrell Heath, 24, has been charged with posession of a stolen vehicle, possession of marijuana, and resisting arrest.

He was driving a 2010 Buick LaCrosse owned by Angela (Serfass) Steigerwalt, 35, of Tamaqua.

The burnt body of Steigerwalt was discovered Saturday morning down a steep, 15-20 foot embankment on Flagstaff Mountain in Jim Thorpe.

Meanwhile, North Carolina officials have been working with Pennsylvania police to determine if Heath will be charged regarding Steigerwalt's murder.

Heath was a "Facebook friend" of Steigerwalt. On his page, he says he is a Christian and lists "intercessory prayer" as his professional skill.

An autopsy was conducted Monday at the Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

Carbon County Coroner Bruce Nalesnik, who had pronounced Steigerwalt dead at the scene on Saturday, said the cause of death is "a criminal homicide."

The cause of death is strangulation, Steigerwalt's family said in a statement.

Steigerwalt's body was found when the Jim Thorpe Fire Department was called to extinguish a brush fire shortly before 10 a.m. Saturday.

Nalesnik said dental records were used to identify the victim.

State police said the investigation is being handled by The Troop N Major Case Team, with assistance from troopers from Troop M, the Jim Thorpe Police Department, the Tamaqua Police Department, and the coroner's office.

Members of Steigerwalt's family said she was last seen Friday when she left her home to work the second shift at Kraft Foods in Fogelsville.

Car located

through On-Star

Police in Kinston, a city of nearly 22,000 people about 30 miles east of Interstate 95, southeast of Raleigh, were not available this morning for comment.

However, it was reported that the Kinston Department of Public Safety was contacted by On-Star about a stolen car entering Kinston on U.S. 258 North at 11:06 a.m. Sunday.

During the incident, police learned that the car belonged to the Tamaqua murder victim.

Little information has been made available by police regarding the case.

A public information officer of the State Police Troop N headquarters said state police continue to investigate.

The Kinston Police Department did not return calls.

It is not known if extradition proceedings have formally begun against Heath.

Donald Serfass, TIMES NEWS managing editor for features, is Steigerwalt's uncle.

He said, "The Pennsylvania State Police are working around the clock non-stop and have been relentless in pursuit of facts and evidence. The family is grateful for work by local police and investigators, including police in Kinston, N.C., who apprehended the suspect."

Serfass also released a statement on behalf of the murder victim's husband and father. It states that her husband, Gary Steigerwalt, at home in Tamaqua with son, Brendon, 15, said late Monday he appreciates the outpouring of support:

"Brendon and I are overwhelmed with the kindness shown to the Steigerwalt family by friends and everyone who's concerned," Steigerwalt said.

"We're also indebted to the Pennsylvania State Police. They've been in touch with me on a regular basis from the very beginning and it means a great deal to us during this difficult time."

The victim's father, Randy Serfass of Tamaqua, said he hopes the newest development will lead toward resolution.

"We have no other details at this time," Randy Serfass said.

"But now that a suspect is in custody, we hope that no other family will find themselves dealing with heartbreak like this."

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