Boyertown-area homicide suspect nabbed after police pursuit

Victim beaten, shot multiple times, police say

COLEBROOKDALE TWP., Pa. - A man is in custody on charges of first-, second-, and third-degree murder in the killing of his girlfriend's father inside his home in Berks County.

Matthew Ryan Boyer broke into the home at 114 Cleaver School Road in Colebrookdale Township shortly before 7 a.m. Thursday and killed Stephen J. Kriebel, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

"I've known him for at least 40 years, and then they moved in next door and our kids grew up together, and I just can't get over it," the victim's neighbor, Mark Reifsnyder, told WFMZ's Jim Vasil.

Kriebel's wife told police that she and her husband were asleep in their bed when the suspect, whom she later identified as their daughter's boyfriend, appeared and began his attack, according to court documents.

Stephen Kriebel, 58, struggled with Boyer, but Kriebel died after first being struck with an aluminum baseball bat and then shot multiple times, police said.

"It's just hard to imagine someone would want to hurt him," said Reifsnyder, who attended Boyertown Area Senior High School with Kriebel.

Kriebel's wife told police that Boyer then walked past her and into the bathroom, where he washed his hands and face, according to the court paperwork. Upon walking out, he apologized before leaving the home and driving off.

Boyer's car, a Chevrolet Malibu, was later spotted by a Boyertown police officer, who gave chase, following Boyer to his home in the 800 block of Rhoads Avenue in neighboring Douglass Township, Montgomery County, just over the Berks border, where he got out of the car and ran off. He was apprehended after a brief foot chase, police said.

Boyer was questioned Thursday afternoon by state police at their Troop L headquarters in Reading. He told investigators that he left his house at 6:30 a.m., telling his girlfriend, who spent the night, that he was going to Walmart, according to court documents.

He said he gathered a bag that contained a ski mask, a gun, and a knife, drove to the Kriebel home in his girlfriend's car, and parked in the family's driveway, police said.

Boyer told police that he initially tried to enter the home through a basement door, which was locked, so he went to the front door, where he used his girlfriend's key to unlock the door, according to the paperwork.

Once inside, he went to the couple's upstairs bedroom, where he confronted Kriebel.

After questioning by police, Boyer was taken downtown for arraignment by a magisterial district judge on the murder charges, as well as aggravated assault, burglary, possessing instruments of a crime, and recklessly endangering another person.

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