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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
was an older white male and was found lying face down covered by long dried
County Coroner’s Office was notified and responded to the scene.
Services Unit did obtain post-mortem fingerprints from the victim in an attempt
to positively identify him.
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.