DUNMORE, Pa. – Three people are in custody in the death of a Pennsylvania man authorities allege was strangled with a pair of jumper cables and dumped over an embankment after an apparent heroin overdose.
Preston Layfield, 19, of Scranton, Tyler Mirabelli, 22, of Clarks Summit, and Amanda Wayda, 20, of Shickshinny, have been charged in Lackawanna County with counts related to aggravated assault in the death of 21-year-old Joshua Rose, of Luzerne.
State police allege that Rose apparently suffered an overdose Thursday at a Scranton home, and the three drove him on Interstate 81 to Susquehanna County, passing at least one hospital on the way rather than seeking medical aid.
"Bottom line, they drove right past a hospital and continued north on I-81. At this time, we are not sure why they did that," Cpl. Mark Prushinski said.
Police allege that a plastic bag was placed over the victim's head along the way and he was strangled with a pair of jumper cables, then dumped over an embankment in the Hop Bottom area of Susquehanna County, where his body was later found near railroad tracks.
Before a stop for gasoline after the alleged strangulation, one member of the group put sunglasses and a hat on the victim, authorities alleged.
Authorities said the charges might change depending on the outcome of an autopsy scheduled Tuesday by the Susquehanna County coroner's office, which didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.
All three defendants are scheduled for preliminary hearings Sept. 7. Asked by a district judge during arraignment whether they had drug or alcohol problems, Mirabelli said he did and it was untreated, but Layfield denied such a problem.
A message left for Wayda wasn't immediately returned. Court documents indicate that Mirabelli requested a public defender, but the office said they hadn't yet received such a request. Court documents don't list an attorney for Layfield, and a listing for him couldn't be found Tuesday.