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Extradition started for suspect

  • Extradiction started for suspect
    Copyright 2014
Published February 05. 2014 05:00PM

A memorial service will be held Saturday for a 35-year-old Tamaqua woman who was brutally murdered last weekend.

Angela M. (Serfass) Steigerwalt's body was located, badly burned, when firefighters were summoned to a brush fire along Flagstaff Road in Jim Thorpe.

The complete obituary appears on page 4 of today's TIMES NEWS.

Her car was found in Kinston, N.C., on Sunday. The man who was driving the car, Anthony Darrell Heath, 24, of Allentown, was taken into custody and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of marijuana, and resisting arrest.

Jean Engler, an assistant district attorney in Carbon County, said extradition proceedings have started against Heath to bring him to Pennsylvania.

The extradition is on charges of theft of a motor vehicle, Engler said. She said that's all he presently is charged with by Pennsylvania officials.

She said it is believed Heath used the vehicle in Carbon and Lehigh counties.

If Heath waives an extradition hearing, he could be brought to Carbon County on the charge within a few days. If he fights extradition, it could be weeks before he's brought here, she said.

The extradition papers were filed with District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe.

Steigerwalt's body was found over a steep, 15-20 foot embankment near the top of Flagstaff Mountain, in some laurel bushes. Court papers say the victim had what appeared to be a metal wire around her neck.

An autopsy performed on Steigerwalt indicated she was strangled.

Police found a Wal-Mart bag near the body, with a receipt.

Court papers say, "The items listed on the receipt were as follows: plastic tote, lighter fluid, and a lighter."

Investigating is the Troop N Major Case Team of the Pennsylvania State Police, assisted by troopers from Troop M, officers from the Jim Thorpe and Tamaqua police departments, and the Carbon County Coroner's office.

Court records show that in February 2012, Heath was charged in Northampton County Court with two counts of simple assault and one of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly biting his 1-year-old child.

He pleaded guilty to one count of simple assault, while the other two charges were dropped.

Steigerwalt is survived by her husband, Gary D. Steigerwalt. They were married for 12 years.

A 1996 Tamaqua High School graduate, Steigerwalt had worked as a supervisor at the J.C. Penney distribution plant in Fogelsville until it relocated. She recently began working at Kraft Foods of Allentown, where her husband has worked for over 40 years.

Born in Palmerton, she was the daughter of Randy Serfass of Tamaqua, and Jean (Boltz)Serfass who resides with her companion, Paul Knepper, in New Ringgold.

She is also survived by her stepson, Brendon Steigerwalt at home; a sister, Sherri Steigerwalt of Lehighton; a brother, Scott Serfass of New Ringgold, and nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her stepson, Jeremy Steigerwalt.

Arrangements are being handled by Robert S. Nester Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc. 2066 West Penn Pike New Ringgold, Pa. 17960 where the family will receive friends from 1:30to 3 p.m. Saturday.

A memorial service will be held at the funeral home at 3 p.m. Saturday

Relatives mentioned she was fond of dogs.

Memorials in her name can be made to Hillside S.P.C.A., Pottsville, Pa. 17901

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