BLYTHE TOWNSHIP — Troopers charged a man from Schuylkill County with homicide after the body of a missing man was found Saturday in a wooded area near New Philadelphia.
State police charged Ethan Sullivan, 20, of Saint Clair with criminal homicide, robbery, assault and reckless endangerment.
The victim is identified as Jason Hahn, 22, from the Tamaqua area. Troopers said he was known as “Jay.”
State police said his body was discovered around 5 p.m. Saturday in the woods along Silver Creek Road in Blythe Township.
Following a party Saturday, June 14 at his West Penn Township residence, Hahn was seen leaving with Sullivan.
In the following days friends became worried when they didn’t hear from Hahn, and began searching for him, utilizing social media.
Derek Snyder was friends with both men. He said after Hahn went missing, he sent text messages to Sullivan and became suspicious when his story changed.
Snyder said, “He said he dropped Jay off in Mary D, then he changed his story and said he was never with him, then I started to get a little suspicious.”
Prosecutors said that Sullivan was using bath salts around the time of the killing, which likely took place late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
They said the two men were traveling in a stolen Jeep and got into an argument. Investigators believe Sullivan killed Hahn with a two-foot-long pipe, then wrapped the victim’s body in a tarp, and threw it into a ravine. They also believe Sullivan tried to set the stolen Jeep on fire.
Online court documents show that Sullivan was arrested Wednesday, June 18, on charges connected to a burglary in East Norwegian Township. He was unable to post the $25,000 bail and was locked up in the Schuylkill County Prison.
Police said after the victim’s body was discovered Sullivan confessed to the killing
Snyder said he is struggling to understand what happened between the two men he considered friends.
“Ethan was a good kid too. I never knew him to be violent, I have known him for over a year too. I never saw a violent side of him. So I don’t know what could have led to this. I wish I had some kind of answer.”
Snyder said Hahn had a quick wit and loved animals. He adds that while “Jay” had struggled with drugs when he was younger, he had turned things around. The two men worked together making tie-dye shirts to sell at concerts.
Snyder said Hahn was especially excited to leave on a shirt-selling trip next week, planning to head to Maine and then down the east coast.
He said,”I just want to know why, I just want to know what happened, I just want to know what could have possibly brought it to this.”