KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — After the arrest of Walter Zolner III for his alleged role in the murder of 22-year-old Ryan Padovani of Kingston, those who knew the victim are speaking out.
Justice for Ryan that’s what the family and friends of homicide victim 22-year-old Ryan Padovani of Kingston say they are seeking. This comes one day after his alleged killer was arrested.
Padovani’s body was found inside his home on East Bennett Street earlier this month Eyewitness News was the first to tell you that Padovani’s neighbor, Walter Zolner III was charged with the killing.
Ryan Padovani lived in the house at 126 East Bennett Street with a young lady with whom he was friends from college. Eyewitness News spoke with her father, who says he is pleased an arrest was made but still had many questions about what happened that deadly night.
Norm Gavlick is reacting to the arrest Thursday of 31-year-old Walter Zolner III of 22-year-old Ryan Padovani.
“In this particular case, I hope that swift and strong justice is served and frankly I hope this guy never sees the light of day,” stated Gavlick.
Gavlick’s daughter was Padovani’s roommate. She came home on the evening of May 5, saw blood in the house, and called her parents. They discovered a grisly scene upstairs and Padovani was dead.
The coroner says he died from blunt force trauma to the head. Investigators found Zolner’s bloody fingerprint at the crime scene and say Zolner wrote in his personal journal that he killed Padovani.
Zolner lived at 124 East Bennett Street, the other side of the double block. Police have not determined a motive for the murder.
“I think that’s one of the big questions for us still. why Ryan? He had no connection to this guy, whatsoever other than being next door landlord. He posed no threat, no harm to this guy. The question is why?” expressed Gavlick.
Investigators say Zolner posted a video on Youtube on May 4 the day before the Padovania murder, in which he claimed to be possed by demons.
Walter Zolner III heard stating this in the video posted;
“I know I made a mistake. I agreed to help formulate a godhead and now I have an ancient god, I can’t tell you his name, possessing me. I’m in a bit of trouble. So if you see this and you know anyone who can perform an exorcism get in touch with me. I’d really appreciate it”
The district attorney stated that Zolner appears to have mental health issues but Gavlick is not convinced.
“Well, I don’t think we’re fully convinced of that whole thing. It was apparently a one-time video from what we’ve been told and given some of the other circumstances. Obviously, the police have all the information beyond what we have. I’m personally not convinced this necessarily is a true characterization of what he’s all about,” said Gavlick.
Investigators say they found an AR-15 assault rifle, other weapons, ammunition, and body armor in Zolner’s car when he was arrested. Zolner also allegedly wrote in his journal that he wanted to go on a “rampage” and attack law enforcement.
The investigation is ongoing Zolner will have a hearing in several weeks. He remains locked up without bail.