NEW PHILADELPHIA, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — 28/22 News was back in New Philadelphia Wednesday and had the chance to speak with those who have been affected by this tragedy, and those who are there to help. 28/22 News had the chance to speak with one of the missing teenager’s family members who told us he was found dead.
Grief counselors were stationed at the local fire department to help the community as they worked through this difficult time.
“It’s usually fairly quiet in this neck of the woods, but I was woken up by the police at 6:30 in the morning to ask me questions,” said New Philadelphia resident Patricia Derfler.
Two bodies were discovered off of Route 209 in a wooded area of New Philadelphia on Tuesday, this follows the search for 16-year-old, Angelito Caraballo, and 18-year-old, Hunter Mock, from New Philadelphia who was reported missing in the days before the bodies were found.
The Pennsylvania State Police have not confirmed that the bodies were those of Caraballo or Mock, Trooper David Beohm says it’s still a very active investigation as they continue to review information.
“That would be, you know, tracing the whereabouts of the two deceased, where they were in the last 24 to 48 hours. We look for any of their friends, associates, anyone who may have seen them in that time frame,” said PSP Trooper David Beohm.
Although PSP could not confirm the connection between the bodies and the missing teens, 28/22 News I-Team Reporter Andy Mehalshick spoke with Mock’s aunt who said that her family was notified early on Tuesday that her nephew was found dead.
“It really is a tragedy and it was really, really unexpected. It’s almost like no. It has to be a mistake, and you know, it wasn’t. It’s been rough since he was so young and since it was… Brutal,” said Hunter Mock’s aunt Rachel Friendy.
On Wednesday, the Pottsville Area School District sent students and families an email announcing the death of Carabello, and grief counselors were made available at New Philadelphia good intent.
“The mayor had reached out and asked us to come up here and just really offer that support. Something unexpected or tragic happening really does affect an entire community,” said Crime Victims Counsel of Lehigh Valley Associate Director Emily Grigonis.
As the small community waits for answers, they remain shocked by the events that have hit so close to home.
“It’s disturbing, I mean you worry because we are remotely out here, outside of town about a mile. And you know, something to worry about,” Derfler explained.
As mentioned, the state police have not confirmed the connection between the missing teenagers and the two bodies that were discovered.
This is still a developing story that 28/22 News will continue to follow and update you as details become available.