Coroner: Death Is A Homicide

WEST MAHANOY TOWNSHIP — Investigators are painting a clearer picture of the victim of a homicide in Schuylkill County.

Police think the victim took the possible suspect into his home about a year ago when that man was down on his luck.

The coroner is now ruling David Halaburda’s death homicide.

No one has been charged yet.

West Mahanoy Township police searched the clothing of Halaburda’s roommate and took that roommate into custody.

The Schuylkill County coroner says David Halaburda, 50, was found beaten to death in his home on Wylam Street near Frackville on Monday.   The cause of death is listed as blows to the head and neck.  It has been ruled a homicide.

“He was always nice, nice to me and nice to my grandson, nice to everybody that was in here,” said Michael Getz.

Police searched Halaburda’s home and the clothing of his roommate Thomas Petrousky after they found Halaburda’s body inside the home they shared.

According to the search warrant, the house was torn apart.  Petrousky had blood stains on his clothes and was visibly under the influence of something.

Dave Halaburda’s death has shocked the community.

“Tom was more domineering. Dave would be here and say ‘Tom wants to watch this. I can’t do this, I can’t do that’ and he really wanted to get him out of the house.”

The owner of a store in the middle of town says Halaburda was in the store almost every day trying to get away from his roommate. The last time he was in the store was the day before his death. The owner says he didn’t look like himself.

Halaburda’s family told Newswatch 16 about a year ago Petrousky needed a place to stay so Halaburda took him in.  Friends and neighbors say the two had a volatile relationship but Halaburda didn’t want to force his roommate to leave.

“I says he was hurting. He just couldn’t tell the guy and then boom.”

The vicim’s roommate, Thomas Petrousky, was taken into custody, but according officials, Petrousky is being held in a hospital and so far has not been charged with Halaburda’s death.

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