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Homicide - Bern Twp.
HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION

July 18, 2020 PRESS RELEASE

On July 17, 2020, at approximately 10:26 P.M., a body was discovered in a wooded area near the trail which is in close proximity to Tully Lane in Bern Township.

The decedent is described as a white male and has not been positively identified.

At this time the investigation is being handled as a Homicide Investigation and the Berks County Detectives Office along with the Bern Township Police Department are the lead investigative agencies in this joint investigation.

The Autopsy is scheduled for Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 9:00 A.M.

The Berks County Detectives and Bern Township Police Department want the Bern Township residents and community to know there is no further threat or danger. 

 

HOMICIDE UPDATE

As the investigation progressed, detectives learned the following information: 

On July 16, 2020, at 7:40 P.M., a Reading Police Officer conducted a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle bearing a Minnesota registration plate and an altered license plate. The traffic stop occurred in the 100 block of North 3rd Street, Reading, Pennsylvania.

The sole occupant was the operator, who was identified as Raphael E. Perez. He was taken into custody and eventually transported to the Berks County Sheriff’s Central Processing Center. He was later committed to Berks County Jail.

Inside the stolen vehicle, police recovered personal property belonging to Dennis Fink, a (76) seventy-six-year-old male, who resided on Tully Lane in Bern Township. Later that evening, Reading Police responded to Mr. Fink’s residence, however, attempts to contact or locate him were unsuccessful.

On July 17, 2020, at approximately 4:00 P.M., the Reading Police returned to Mr. Fink’s residence. There was no response at the front door. The Officers discovered there was an unlocked rear door, therefore, officers from the Reading and Bern Township Police Departments entered the residence to conduct a security check. There were no signs of Mr. Fink and nobody was present inside the residence, other than a small dog which was later turned over to the Animal Rescue League.

The scene was secured and the Bern Township Police Department initiated a Missing Person investigation. Berks County Detectives were contacted and deployed manpower and resources to the scene to provide assistance.

At approximately 10:26 P.M., Sgt. Albert Schade III of the Berks County District Attorney’s Office Forensic Services Unit discovered a body at the rear of a Tully Lane property, not far from the Berks County trail. The entire scene and perimeter were secured.

The decedent was an older white male and was found lying face down covered by long dried brush.

The Berks County Coroner’s Office was notified and responded to the scene.

The Forensic Services Unit did obtain post-mortem fingerprints from the victim in an attempt to positively identify him.

The victim’s body was removed from the scene and transported to the Research Laboratory located at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center pending an autopsy.

The victim was positively identified as Dennis E. Fink, after comparing the post-mortem fingerprints with a set of fingerprints which were provided by the Armed Forces of the United States. The victim was a proud member of the United States Military, serving more than (20) twenty years as a pilot in the Air Force, retiring as a Major in July 1986.

On July 19, 2020, at approximately 9:00 A.M., Forensic Pathologist Dr. Neil Hoffman performed an autopsy on the victim. Based on his examination of the body and the results of the autopsy, Dr. Hoffman determined that the cause of death was “Multiple Stab Wounds” and the manner of death was ruled homicide.

The homicide investigation remains active and has been extremely productive thus far.  The investigative team of detectives are continuing to follow up on information and exhaust all investigative leads.