UPDATE 6/6/13: The Lycoming County Coroner shed some light on an apparent murder-suicide of Seth Snyder and Cherilyn Kephart. According to the report, Snyder died from burns and breathing in smoke. An autopsy proved Kephart was already dead when the fire started.
The coroner said the cause of Kephart’s death is still unknown.
HEPBURN TOWNSHIP — Police in Lycoming County are investigating an apparent murder-suicide that left a man and woman dead inside a burning vehicle overnight.
Investigators said the bodies of Seth Snyder and Cherilyn Kephart were found in the scorched vehicle behind a barn north of Williamsport Thursday night.
According to court papers, the two had a tumultuous past, including a violent encounter in 2012 that sent Snyder to prison facing assault charges.
There are no obvious signs of the overnight vehicle fire behind the barn along Route 973 north of Williamsport which led investigators to make a gruesome discovery.
Once fire crews had the flames out. The bodies of Seth Snyder, 42, and his estranged girlfriend Cherilyn Kephart, 38, were found inside.
That’s according to police who believe the deaths amount to a murder-suicide.
Snyder and Kephart had two young children together.
According to court papers, Snyder was facing charges that he assaulted Kephart in October of last year. Police said Snyder hit Kephart with the butt of a rifle and told her “I’m gonna blow your brains out.”
This all took place while Kephart was holding the couple’s two-year-old son.
Eventually, Snyder was released on bail, and the two were not supposed to have any contact, except when they exchanged custody of the kids.
Investigators said the couple met Thursday night to exchange custody, when, for some reason, Snyder and Kephart were in the vehicle together when it burned behind the Snyder family barn in the Hepburnville area.
What’s left of the vehicle is being held at the Old Lycoming Township Police headquarters while investigators look into how exactly the two died.
The Lycoming County District Attorney, said his office requested a high bail amount to keep Snyder in prison, fearing that this sort of thing could happen.
Seth Snyder eventually posted bail, and was required to wear a tracking device, which was discovered with the remains.
There is no word when or if autopsies will be done to determine what caused their deaths.