NORRISTOWN, Pa. | Montgomery County D.A. Kevin R. Steele and Upper Merion Police Chief Thomas Nolan announced the arrest of Jonathan Tunnell, 40, of Philadelphia, for a murder in a hotel room in King of Prussia on Monday.
On Monday, June 14 at 3:30 p.m., Upper Merion Police say they responded to the Fairfield Inn for a report that a maintenance man found a suspected overdose victim in one of the hotel rooms.
Police arrived to find the victim, Henry Palmen, 35, dead with a wound to the side of his head. Upon close inspection, police say they located a small-diameter bullet wound. Also supposedly found in the room were numerous packages of marijuana edibles, and a large amount of white and orange pills.
Dr. Erica Williams, a forensic pathologist with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, conducted an autopsy of Palmen, which officials say determined that he died of a gunshot wound, and the manner of death was homicide.
Upper Merion Police and Montgomery County Detectives launched a joint investigation into the homicide. The investigation found that the victim and defendant had allegedly arranged a meeting to sell and buy illegal drugs.
A male, later identified as Tunnell, was seen in surveillance video walking along Mall Boulevard near the Fairfield Inn at 10:26 a.m., and then seen again at 10:46 a.m., walking quickly in the opposite direction.
While the male was wearing a mask and dark clothing, officials say distinctive tattoos can be seen on both of his hands and match photos of his tattoos that detectives obtained from CPIN. Hotel personnel say they also saw Tunnell enter the hotel and elevator.
“Upper Merion Police did an outstanding job in their immediate actions in the hotel room. They secured needed evidence to quickly solve this murder, which appears to have happened during a drug deal gone bad,” said D.A. Steele. “This defendant was just released on parole last August and was wanted prior to this murder for violations to his parole and probation.”
Tunnel was arrested by U.S. Marshalls near the Philadelphia airport Wednesday morning, investigators say. He is charged with multiple murder charges and several other drug violations.
There is no bail available for First-Degree Murder, and officials say the defendant was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m., June 28.