Five Charged in Connection with 1997 Beating Death

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It has been almost 15 years since a man was beaten to death in Snyder County.
Friday police cracked open the cold case and arrested five people in connection to the murder.

Donald Seebold, 21, was beaten to death in July, 1997. Police said they did hundreds of interview to try to solve the case which went cold years later.

Friday it heated back up again as five people were charged in the case.

Three of them live on the same street where the murder was said to have happened.

Robert Reich, Ryan Sprenkel and Christopher Aucker were arrested in Snyder County and charged with criminal homicide. Sheila Aucker was arrested and charged with lying to police and the grand jury.

Linda Thomas was arrested in North Carolina and also charged with perjury. Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch said the victim put his arm around Aucker's girlfriend at a party near Beavertown so the men attacked him.

"Seebold was outnumbered by the men and they kicked, hit and punched until he was on the ground. Even then it continued," Piecuch said.

Sprenkel told police he found Seebold on the side of the road and put him in the back of his car. He called police the next morning and said he didn't know how Seebold died. Fifteen years later, he and the others are charged with his death.

The district attorney said there were many dead ends and false leads throughout the 15 year investigation.

"Many of those witnesses stonewalled the investigation for many years, claiming they had no knowledge of why or how it happened. They also wasted time and effort running down false leads," Piecuch added.

"It's a great pleasure to clear the case. Let's see where it goes from here," said Sergeant Frederick Dyroff of Pennsylvania State Police.

Four of the suspects are set to appear in court in Snyder County next week.  Linda Thomas has a hearing in North Carolina on Tuesday when a judge will decide if she will be brought back to Snyder County.