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A Pennsylvania man is in police custody on assault charges after authorities discovered the body of his partner while they attempted to conduct a welfare check on her this week.
According to court documents cited by Fox affiliate WOLF-TV, police in Jim Thorpe visited the home of Peter T. Davis, 55, and 60-year-old Laura Spencer on Monday to perform a welfare check on her at the request of her son; Daniel Spencer said he hadn't spoken to his mother since July 21. His sisters, however, had told him that Davis had said to them that Spencer had died shortly after her birthday, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by police, the Times-News reported.
Court documents viewed by WOLF-TV state that Davis allegedly told Spencer's daughters that "he had to do what he had to do" and that "he needed the money."
When police arrived at the residence, Davis reportedly refused to come to the door, telling police that only he and his pets were in the home. He made statements including, “I can stay here for days" and “I’m not going anywhere,” authorities said. At one point he was screaming at the top of his lungs, they added.
While attempting to make contact with Davis, Daniel Spencer phoned the police again to tell them that his younger brother had been told, by Davis, that their mother was buried in the backyard.
After that, officers remained at the residence as others obtained the search warrant. When they entered the home, Davis reportedly grabbed one of the officers, according to ABC affiliate WNEP. He was arrested for assault.
After Davis was placed in a patrol car he reportedly attempted to crawl through the car's divider to access an officer's weapons and also tried to pull an officer into the backseat by his vest, according to documents reviewed by the Times-News. He also screamed obscenities at officers before and after being placed in custody, according to the report.
Neighbors told WNEP that officers spent about 90 minutes digging in the backyard of the home before unearthing a body.
An autopsy performed on Wednesday revealed that the body was Spencer's, according to a press release from the Jim Thorpe Polce Department.. There were no signs of trauma and the toxicology test results are pending. The investigation will continue after those results are in, police said.
The Times-News reported that Davis told officers at the station he could not afford funeral expenses for Spencer.
Davis is being held in the Carbon County Correctional Facility in Nesquehoning and is facing one charge of second-degree misdemeanor simple assault, one charge of third-degree misdemeanor disorderly conduct for using obscene language or making an obscene gesture, one charge of the summary offense of disorderly conduct for creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition and one charge of second-degree misdemeanor institutional vandalism for defacing a police vehicle.
He is being represented by a public defender and was granted release on $20,000 bail, which he has not posted.
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