Lehigh Valley

Coroner rules Bethlehem burning body incident a homicide

Body identified as 18-year-old man

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek has ruled the case involving a burning body found outside the Bethlehem Parkhurst Apartments a homicide. 

That body --  identified by the coroner as 18-year-old Tyrell Michael Holmes of Bethlehem -- was found burning outside next to a dumpster Tuesday around 2:30 a.m.

Lysek says the autopsy revealed Holmes died of smoke inhalation, thermal injuries, and life-threatening stab wounds.

"This is a very violent type of homicide," said Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli says the dual method of killing used on Holmes leads him to the conclusion that "we're dealing with a first degree murder situation."

He even went on to say it may even be a first degree capital case, as torture is an aggravating circumstance under the law. 

"There's no doubt this killing resulted in extreme pain and that he was conscious leading up to his death," Morganelli said.

The investigation is ongoing and Morganelli says he's confident with the information coming in that this case is solvable and the individual(s) will be held accountable. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Bethlehem Police Department. 

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