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Man charged in death of burned, dismembered former friend

Published September 12. 2018 07:37AM

WEST MIDDLESEX (AP) — Authorities have charged a man in the death of a former friend found burned and dismembered in a shallow grave in western Pennsylvania two years ago.

State police in Mercer County accuse 42-year-old Christopher Shelatree Senior of Sharon of killing 59-year-old Joseph DiFrischia, who disappeared in April 2016.

Authorities allege that Shelatree broke the victim’s ribs, causing internal bleeding, then burned the body and buried the torso in a shallow grave, disposing of the victim’s head and extremities elsewhere.

Shelatree is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, theft, abuse of a corpse and other counts. Police say another man acknowledged helping bury what he thought was a dog but feared might have been the victim.

Shelatree is behind bars in an unrelated case; court documents don’t list an attorney.

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