Covered in blood, man walks into Allentown hospital and admits to homicide, police say


A Monroe County man who walked into an Allentown hospital covered in blood and told personnel that he had just killed his boyfriend in Lancaster County back in 2019 has died in prison.

Acting Superintendent David Close, of the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale, reported Thursday that inmate Matthew Vanzandt, 33, was found unresponsive in his cell on Wednesday. Prison security and medical staff immediately responded and provided life-saving measures until EMS arrived at the facility, according to a news release from the state Department of Corrections.

Vanzandt was pronounced dead at 8:11 p.m.

Vanzandt was serving a 12- to 24-year sentence for first-degree murder, according to the news release. He had been at SCI Houtzdale since September 17, 2021. In accordance with state policy, Pennsylvania State Police at Clearfield were notified and will conduct an investigation. The official cause of death will be determined by the Clearfield County Coroner's Office.

Vanzandt stabbed 31-year-old Ian Shannon at Shannon's Dickens Drive home in Lancaster Township. Vanzandt was arrested at St. Luke's Hospital Allentown in the 1700 block of Hamilton Street.

Manheim Township police were dispatched to Shannon's home in the 400 block of Dickens Drive shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday for a report of a possible domestic disturbance. Officers reported neither seeing nor hearing signs of a disturbance and said no one answered the door, according to court records.

Township police were then called about 3:15 a.m. to conduct a welfare check at the same address after Vanzandt reportedly walked into St. Luke's Hospital and told personnel there that he killed his boyfriend.

An emergency room nurse told police that Vanzandt came in seeking treatment for an injured hand. He described Vanzandt as being "saturated in blood," according to records.

Vanzandt told hospital personnel that he had stabbed his boyfriend, according to records. When asked by hospital security whether he had any weapons, he told them the knife he used was in his backpack.

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