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Wife Facing Charges, Grandchildren Eyed In Elderly Pennsylvania Man's Presumed Murder

Investigators believed that Thomas Hayden was murdered more than a decade ago by his wife Virginia Hayden in Pennsylvania. They're now seeking the DNA of her Texas-based grandchildren, Steven and Michael Harris, in connection with the crime.

By Gina Tron
Police Lights Night G

Two brothers who currently live in Texas are under investigation regarding their alleged ties to the murder allegedly committed by their grandmother in Pennsylvania.

Virginia Hayden, 70, was charged in 2019 with the murder of her husband, Thomas Hayden, 62, according to a 2021 press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He had disappeared in 2011.

In 2021, Virginia Hayden was indicted on 14 counts of wire fraud related to the theft of Social Security funds for allegedly receiving her husband's benefits between 2011 and 2017 while neglecting to report him missing. In all, she allegedly collected more than $110,000.

Virginia Hayden is still awaiting trial for the murder of Thomas Hayden, whose body has never been found. In 2012,  a vacuum-sealed bag containing a human scalp with hair and a piece of a bloody bedsheet was found on the side of a road in Dover Township. DNA showed that the scalp likely belonged to a sibling of Thomas Hayden's brothers.  

Police allegedly found Thomas Hayden’s passport, driver’s license and Social Security card in a locked box at his wife’s home, according to the York Daily Record.

Now, investigators are looking to see if her grandsons played a role in Thomas Hayden’s murder.

Search warrants were issued for the collection of DNA from Virginia Hayden's grandchildren Steven and Michael Harris, according to a court document obtained by KXAN. Both brothers were minors at the time of their Thomas Hayden's disappearance.

They currently live in Austin, Texas but investigators have not yet been able to reach them.

According to the search warrant, Virginia Hayden was “very close” with Michael Harris and allegedly gave him a credit card in her husband’s name. The warrant alleges that the two had conversations about disposing of bodies using pigs.

“Virginia informed Michael if you feed a person to pigs, they eat everything but the hair,” the document states.

It's not clear if the siblings have attorneys. According to Pennsylvania law, a minor can be tried as an adult as young as 14 if the court rules that the charges are in the best interest of the public, according to KXAN.