Lehigh Valley

Allentown man heading to trial in killing of Tamaqua woman

Allentown man heading to trial in killing of Tamaqua woman

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - An Allentown man charged in the death of a Tamaqua woman whose body was discovered in Carbon County is heading to trial.

A preliminary hearing was held Tuesday in Lehigh County Court for Anthony Heath. All charges were held for court.

During Tuesday's hearing, an officer testified fire crews initially raked over Steigerwalt's body because they thought it was burnt debris.

Also on the stand, Pennsylvania State Police troopers testified her charred torso was found Sat., Feb. 1 off a wooded road in Jim Thorpe, Carbon Co.

A state trooper detailed how a wire was found still attached to her throat. Another trooper testified that, during a 3-1/2-hour car ride interview from North Carolina to Allentown, Heath admitted to killing Steigerwalt.

Heath reportedly told police he and Steigerwalt, who is married and has one stepchild, met about a year ago and had been having a sexual relationship.

The trooper testified Heath told him he used electrical cord connecting his TV to his surround-sound system to strangle the woman inside his apartment on Chew Street in Allentown.

The trooper also said Heath told him he snapped when Steigerwalt wouldn't take him to a child custody hearing and lend her support.

The trooper said Heath confirmed he bought a lighter and lighter fluid at a Walmart store in Lower Macungie Township just hours after the homicide.

Heath then allegedly admitted to stealing her car, driving to Jim Thorpe, and lighting her body on fire before heading to North Carolina to visit his brother, but he never made it. Steigerwalt's car was flagged and Heath was stopped an arrested.

Walmart receipts found in a bag at the scene led police to Heath. Neither the prosecution nor defense wanted to comment.

Heath is due back in court late next month on charges of homicide, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, receiving stolen property, access device fraud, abuse of a corpse and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. A trial date is set for April 25.

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