Autopsy on Homicide Victim Canceled after Suspect Found Dead in Jail

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MOUNT CARMEL -- A death investigation in Northumberland County began Friday when a woman's body was found in her backyard. Now the man called a person of interest in that death is also dead and the autopsy on the original victim has been canceled.

The Northumberland County coroner says Monday's scheduled autopsy on Penny Mansfield of Mount Carmel was canceled because the suspect in the case is dead.

Robert Thurner, Mansfield's boyfriend, was jailed on a parole violation Friday. He was called a person of interest in the homicide.

Thurner hanged himself in his prison cell Saturday and died Sunday at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville, according to the coroner in Montour County.

Mount Carmel police confirm they planned to charge Thurner with homicide. The chief says there was no indication Thurner was suicidal.

Thurner was being held in Columbia County because Northumberland County's jail burned down in January of 2015.

The coroner in Northumberland County says an examination determined Mansfield died of blunt force trauma, and there is no need to do an autopsy because the man who was going to be charged is dead.

The body was found Friday morning in the yard of the home Mansfield and Thurner shared in Mount Carmel.

Bloomsburg police are investigating the suicide. The police chief says Thurner was away from the general prison population, but he was not on a suicide watch. They will be getting reports from prison workers and checking prison video as their investigation moves forward.


  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Wnep should investigate the coroner…

    Doesn’t the state pick up the case regardless and require an autopsy regardless?

    How many times have we heard that in 10-20-30 years, new evidence comes out?

    This is FISHY AS SHYT!!!

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Now how fn stupid is that?

    The incompetence in this country is astounding at times.

    Cover up?

    Lift rug, sweep under, drop rug.

  • Writer Girl

    This guy sounds guilty to me, but why cancel the autopsy? Shouldn’t “a person of interest” be completely exonorated, first?

  • Fredric

    Until you have worked in medical facilities around Sing Sing or Bedford Hill in NYS or read about Jeffery Dommers or others, you are ill informed. The institution has no liability in a suicide.

  • Rurbanite

    Bad decision!! Irresponsible decision!! he suspect was just that — only a suspect. His guilt was not proven. The autopsy should proceed in case another suspect is found,

  • warningfakenews

    “Alright, move on, nothing to see here. Please disperse, nothing to see here. PLEASE!” – Detective Frank Drebin (Naked Gun)

  • Fredric

    LISTEN UP!! All dead bodies in prisions are “suicides” including 5 stab wounds in the back. This “suicide” was not reported with enough information.

    Was this inmate “suicide-ed” or just denied med’s for depression or condition?

    It could be the real murderer is still st large.

    • Thanks Chief

      Exactly! Plus there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll, the moon landings never happened, 911 was an inside job and there was a second Vegas shooter!
      Put your tin foil hat on Mr. Flake.

      • Thanks Chief

        Yeah, and you’re the 1%, right? It’s amazing that such a successful, happy and wealthy guy, such as yourself wastes their time replying to the deplorables!
        Good job, Chief!

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