Poconos Coal

Police continue to investigate 'suspicious death' in Schuylkill County

45-year-old victim died of single gunshot wound, state police say

Schuylkill Co. death investigation

SOUTH MANHEIM TWP., Pa. - State police are continuing to investigate the "suspicious death" of a man found outside his burning home in Schuylkill County on Friday.

Investigators aren't saying much about the case except that the victim, Gerald Hale, was found dead of a single gunshot wound in the front yard of his home at 30 S. Shue String Lane in South Manheim Township.

As of Saturday afternoon, authorities were not providing any new details into the investigation.

"We're in the infancy of the investigation," said Trooper Chris Blugis, Pennsylvania State Police. "There's a lot of pieces that we looked at and we can't really comment on them right now."

An autopsy was scheduled for Saturday morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital, but there's no word yet on the results of that autopsy.

Neighbors told 69 News that Hale, 45, lived at the home with his wife and two young sons. His brother said Hale had just dropped the kids off at school and returned home to prepare for a job interview when crews got the call to respond to the home for a fire around 8:40 a.m.

Neighbors said they saw and heard a series of explosions.

"You could see the woods glowing red and just more smoke than I've ever seen," said Michael Krebs, a neighbor. "It's pretty upsetting."

The home was ultimately destroyed.

Investigators say the death is suspicious but, they do not have a person of interest.

"There is no one at large that we are looking for right now and the community is safe," said PA State Police Lieutenant Chris Blugis.

The other unknown is how this fire started.

"The structure has been so hot all day long. Our fire marshals are only able to just get in there now and look around. They are bringing out some heavy equipment to try and help move some of the debris so they can look for different things," said Blugis.

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