Police have suspect in Pa. boy’s 1985 death

/ Source: The Associated Press

Police have a suspect in the 1985 killing of a teenage boy whose body was found in a thicket months after he left home on a bicycle, a coroner said Thursday.

The death of 13-year-old David Reed had long been labeled undetermined but was reclassified a homicide Thursday after a review of his exhumed remains.

State police, acting on new evidence they have not disclosed, exhumed the body in January and had forensic anthropologists perform new tests.

The suspect is still alive, but the motive remains unclear, said Schuylkill County Coroner Joseph Lipsett. Until an arrest is made, investigators are not releasing specifics about how the boy died.

"This (ruling) was one of the most significant hurdles," said Cpl. Robert S. Betnar, the lead investigator, whom the family credits for the recent progress. "Without it being a homicide, technically there's no crime, and we couldn't make an arrest."

The boy's body was found about a half-mile from his bicycle in a remote thicket on the edge of his hometown of Schuylkill Haven, 75 miles northwest of Philadelphia.