Arrest Made in Monroe County Cold Case

MONROE COUNTY — A cold case has been re-opened 45 years after a man was found dead in Monroe County.

Authorities say a man from Texas was arrested Thursday for the murder of a Bethlehem Steel employee.

Pennsylvania State Police arrested Richard Keiper, 67, originally of Monroe County for shooting and killing a man 45 years ago near Brodheadsville.

Police say when they interviewed Keiper, he admitted to the crime back then and after the murder, he told police he started a new life by joining a traveling carnival.richard keiper mug

Keiper is currently living in Texas. He was arrested for a 1968 murder of Alfred Barnes, the assistant to the vice president of Bethlehem Steel. His body was found in a field near Brodheadsville 45 years ago by a hunter.

“That’s amazing. You read so much, hear so much, about cold cases on television. And to have it so close to home,” said Cynthia Camlet.

Camlet lives near the scene of the crime which turned into a cold case until now.

The case was assigned to a trooper who interviewed Keiper with Texas rangers in September about the crime. That’s when police say he admitted to shooting and killing Alfred Barnes when he was 22 years old.

“It’s interesting, I don’t think this kind of thing happened in this county for that many years to have gone by, for there to be a murder,” said Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Mike Mancuso.

Mancuso says he believes one of the motives was Keiper wanted the victim’s 1969 Ford Thunderbird.

“Mr. Keiper was a native of that area of the county, having grown up in Effort, was familiar with the roads, and was able to describe the old names and landmarks as they existed, as he described to the rangers where he directed Mr. Barnes to go.”

According to court papers, the body of the assistant to the vice president of Bethlehem Steel was found somewhere in the field in Chestnuthill Township near Brodheadsville 45 years ago. When the body was found, there were gunshot wounds to the head, the face, and the hand.

Now, the assistant district attorney says is the task of finding witnesses to testify.

“Who found Mr. Barnes remains that morning, we know,” Mancuso said.

Richard Keiper is expected to be arraigned in Monroe County sometime next week.

He is currently in the Wise County jail in Texas.

Saturday is the 45 year anniversary of when police found the victim’s body.

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