Southeastern PA

Police reopen search for Edward Fonder III

Daughter Mary Jane killed romantic rival in church

SPRINGFIELD, Pa. - Edward Fonder III disappeared from his home in 1993 and since then investigators have been trying to solve the case.

One possible suspect - his daughter Mary Jane Fonder.

Mary Jane is currently in prison after being convicted of murdering a fellow church member Rhonda Smith in the basement of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in 2008.

After the conviction, the Bucks County District Attorney's office remained committed to solving the cold case.

"We'll continue to look through and consider all possibilities with respect to her missing father," said Prosecutor David Zellis in 2008.

Investigators had not been able to search the property because it was owned by the Fonder family.

But, the land now has a new owner and Springfield Police Chief Michael McDonald confirms an investigation has re-opened at the property, but his department is not involved yet.

McDonald says because this is a cold case, the Bucks County Detective's Office is involved.

A contractor at the home declined to go on camera, but said the new owner is allowing investigators to search the land for possible remains of Edward Fonder.

The worker at the scene confirmed to 69 News that a Bucks County detective, a member of the FBI, and a cadaver dog from Philadelphia were on the property Monday morning.

The three parties searched the property and dug a hole behind the house, but didn't find anything.

The owner of the property is currently in Florida, and has placed a chain across the driveway.

The home is being cleaned out, and will be demolished in the next three weeks.

There’s no word if or when investigators will be back at the property.

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