One in Custody In Death Investigation

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SCHUYLKILL COUNTY -- Thomas Petrousky, 53, was taken into custody Monday after police said they found a man's body at a home on Wylam Street in West Mahanoy Township, near Frackville.

Officials identified the victim as David Halaburda, 50, of West Mahanoy Township.

Police were called to the area Monday morning after neighbors reported Petrousky acting strangely. They said he tried to get onto a nearby property, screaming that it was his.

"I really thought he was going to try and enter my house. I didn't know why he was like this," said Tabbitha McCormick.

McCormick was inside her home at the time with her 3-month-old daughter.

Outside, she said, her boyfriend tried to calm Petrousky down.

"Threatening to shoot me, this, that and the other thing, threatening to shoot the dogs, and that it’s his house and my house, I need to leave my own house," said James Dellock, describing the encounter.

"He pushed my boyfriend off our own porch, he took my mailbox and put it in the middle of the street and told my boyfriend he's going to put him in there," added McCormick.

McCormick called police and said, after they arrived, they arrested Petrousky and checked the home where he was living on Wylam Street.

There, they said they found Halaburda, the homeowner, dead.

The discovery shocked the neighborhood.

"Every day I walk around the block here and up around the corner, and I often saw them outside, but they seemed like very, very nice people. They would always say 'hello,' so I was very surprised to see this happen," said neighbor Jim Keller.

Joe Reading lives just a few houses down from the scene and was surprised to come home to investigators on his block.

"No, never had a problem with anybody on this block," he said.

State and local police said the investigation continues.

"I've never personally had any altercation with him. It's a quiet block, a quiet neighborhood and all of a sudden this just blows up," said McCormick.


  • DE

    I cannot believe they don’t have a handle on the bath salt thing yet? I need to educate myself. Where do they get it/make it? Much like in the meth lab I imagine..
    “The effects can include agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, increased pulse, high blood pressure, and suicidal thinking/behavior, Horowitz says.

    Suicidal thinking/behavior may last “even after the stimulatory effects of the drugs have worn off,” Horowitz says. “At least for MDPV, there have been a few highly publicized suicides a few days after their use.”

    “The presumption is that most ‘bath salts’ are MDPV, or methylenedioxypyrovalerone, although newer… derivatives are being made by illegal street chemists,” Horowitz says. “Nobody really knows, because there has been no way to test for these substances. However, that is changing, and some tests for certain of these chemicals have been developed.”
    Source: WebMD

  • Kris

    Definitely Bath salts!!!! Way to many drugs floating around that neighborhood!!! It’s really a shame!!!!

  • Megan

    Chances are, bath salts had a role in this. We all need to start doing something about this epidemic!.. It’s getting out of hand in this area. I honestly just want to pack my entire family up & move somewhere a little safer. It truly is disgusting.

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