Image: Joseph Geiger
Jimmy May  /  AP
Joseph Geiger, 43, of Pottsville, Pa., is escorted by Cpl. Robert Betnar from the Pennsylvania State Police station in Schuylkill Haven, Pa.
updated 8/21/2008 1:30:29 PM ET 2008-08-21T17:30:29

Police arrested a man Thursday in the 1985 killing of a 13-year-old boy whose body was found months after he left home on a bicycle.

Police arrested Joseph Geiger on the 23rd anniversary of David Reed's disappearance after leaving home in Schuylkill Haven.

"We got him," said state police Sgt. Craig Stine.

Geiger, 43, was arrested by state police as he left his home in nearby Pottsville to go to work. He was scheduled to be arraigned later Thursday on charges of third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

The announcement gave no information on a possible motive. Police and prosecutors planned a news conference to discuss the arrest later in the day.

Until recently, Reed's death had been classified as "undetermined." State police exhumed the body in January after turning up new evidence. After studying the remains, officials ruled in early July that the case was a homicide. They also said at the time that they had identified a suspect.

The boy's badly decomposed remains were found in a remote thicket on the edge of town in December 1985, about a half-mile from his bicycle. Two experts had initially theorized the boy might have succumbed to an undiagnosed case of diabetes.

Reed's relatives had welcomed the renewed attention, saying the original investigation was inadequate.

"The feeling is hard to describe. After all these years, I never thought it would come down to this. You give up hope," David's brother, Joseph Reed, of Fort Myers, Fla., said Thursday.

A sister who had encouraged police to pursue the case died last year, and their mother died in 2001.

Joseph Reed said he was barely acquainted with Geiger but recalled that in the months after David's disappearance, Geiger "would say 'Hi,' like nothing happened. I wish I knew back then what I know today."

Schuylkill Haven is about 75 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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