READING, Pa. - Reading police are looking high and low for a 19-year-old high school student who's wanted in connection with the deadly stabbing of another man.
An arrest warrant was issued for Anthony Clay-Rappaselli, the man responsible for the city's fourth homicide of 2013, said police.
White candles spelled out the name "Rob" at the spot where Robert Bell was stabbed to death Wednesday afternoon outside a church at North 12th and Windsor streets.
Clay-Rappaselli is a senior at Reading High School and a standout player on the school's basketball team.
"He's actually a good kid growing up. He's into ball and he never really got into trouble," said Remington White, a long-time friend.
White said he couldn't sleep Wednesday night, knowing Clay-Rappaselli is now facing first and third degree murder charges.
According to police, Bell, 33, was walking down the street with his girlfriend around 1:40 p.m. Wednesday when Clay-Rappaselli ran up from behind, and stabbed him in broad daylight.
"We believe they do know each other, and there was some sort of conflict that apparently has been brewing," said Capt. Damond Kloc, Reading Police Dept.
An exact motive is still unclear, but Juan Escobar said he saw the suspect pacing up and down his block Wednesday before the stabbing.
"He was just back and forth, and he just looked nervous at the same time," said Escobar.
Anna Ryan told 69 News she was absolutely stunned when she found out her old neighbor is now wanted for murder.
"I was making coffee, turned my back for a second, and there was his face was on the news. I was shocked," said Ryan.
According to Ryan, Clay-Rappaselli lived in the same apartment building as her in the 1600 block of Mineral Spring Road with his dad, who she said passed away three weeks ago. On Thursday afternoon, she urged Clay-Rappaselli to turn himself in.
"Do the right thing, if not for himself, do it for his dad," said Ryan.
"He just needs to turn himself in, get it over with, be honest, and be up front so people can stop speculating," said White, who confirmed Clay-Rappaselli has two kids and another on the way.
An autopsy on Bell was performed Thursday morning. The Berks County coroner's office did not release the results pending the active investigation.
Anyone with information on Clay-Rappaselli's whereabouts is urged to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. A cash reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to his arrest.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News