DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Two men are facing charges in connection with a suspicious death investigation that spans two counties.
State police say they are also currently looking for a third suspect.
The two suspects arrested Monday were arraigned just after 4:00 PM at the Lackawanna County courthouse in Scranton.
They are currently only facing assault and conspiracy charges for allegedly using jumper cables to strangle a 21-year-old man.
Investigators say this case is far from over and even more charges are most likely forthcoming.
Preston Layfield said nothing as he was led out of the state police barracks in Dunmore Monday.
Troopers believe the 19-year-old had involvement in the death of Joshua Rose of Luzerne borough in Luzerne County last week.
This case started as a missing person investigation.
“The family called that he had been missing they hadn’t seen him or talked to him since the 24th (of August),” Cpl. Mark Prushinski of the Pennsylvania State Police said.
Tyler Mirabelli is also accused in the case.
Investigators say the victim may have suffered a drug overdose at a home in Scranton last Thursday but instead of getting help, the suspects allegedly drove him on Interstate 81, dumping his body in the woods near train tracks in Hop Bottom, Susquehanna County.
“They drove right past the hospital and they continued north on Interstate 81 and why exactly they did that at this point, we’re not really sure,” Cpl. Prushinski said.
Investigators also believe the victim may have been strangled on that drive.
“The individual was probably having some sort of significant medical problem and for whatever their thought process was, it appears as though he was strangled,” Cpl. Prushinski said.
At this point, the two suspects are only facing assault charges but that could be upgraded to homicide charges depending on the results of an autopsy on Tuesday.
“We anticipate that much more information will be forthcoming tomorrow following the autopsy,” Chief Deputy District Attorney of Lackawanna County Mariclare Hayes said.
In between allegedly strangling the victim and dumping his body, troopers believe the suspects also stopped for gas.
One of the suspects told troopers they even put sunglasses and a hat on the victim to disguise what had happened.
The third suspect that police are still looking for is Amanda Wayda of Shickshinny.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is urged to call State Police in Dunmore at 570-963-3156.