Search underway for alleged killer in West Hazleton

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WEST HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The search for an alleged killer continued on Monday, in Luzerne County. Investigators spent the day searching for Giovanni Morales Jr., 22, who is wanted for the June murder of Jonathan Hernandez in West Hazleton.

Officials are calling this one of the most brutal murders they have ever seen. Now they are asking the public for help and issuing an alert for the public to stay clear of the suspect.

According to arrest papers, Morales beat Hernandez to death inside an apartment on Winters Avenue. Detectives say Hernandez and Morales worked in construction in the Hazleton area and that Morales was staying with Hernandez for several months at the apartment.

On June 27, the owner of the construction company could not reach Hernandez. When he came to the apartment to find out where Hernandez was, he made a grisly discovery.

Hernandez was unresponsive on the floor and there was blood all over the apartment. State troopers and county detectives say they have evidence that shows that Morales was the last person to be with Hernandez and in fact killed him.

“I was devastated what kind of person would do that?” said Giovanni Juarez, a neighbor.

Juarez lives near the apartment where the murder took place. He says that he and Hernandez became friends when he moved into the apartment in May.

“Well he was nice but sometimes he made bad decisions. Other times he was giving he would do good things and help us.”

Investigators say Morales is armed and should be considered dangerous. If you see the individual do not approach him, call 911 or the state police.

Morales, who is from Brooklyn, New York, may have fled to the city, but he is known to have friends in the Hazleton area.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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