Police: Man believed to have killed 2, died in fire and identified

DOUGLASSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — State police say a man who they believe beat an eastern Pennsylvania couple to death with a hammer and was then found dead in a fire in the garage has been identified as the woman’s adult son.

Police in Berks County said Wednesday that DNA tests identified the third person found after the fire as 40-year-old Adam DeLuca, son of 63-year-old Joanne DeLuca. She and 60-year-old Ira Reed Jr. were found dead Nov. 23 in the Union Township home.

Authorities said Wednesday that preliminary autopsy results concluded Adam DeLuca died of smoke inhalation and thermal burns. State police said earlier he had used an accelerant to set himself on fire and is also believed to have killed two dogs and two cats. Chief Deputy Coroner Jonn Hollenbach said Adam DeLuca’s death is being treated as suicide, but no official ruling on manner of death would be made until the final autopsy report is done.

Neighbors said the three moved there several years ago from southern New Jersey after losing their home in Superstorm Sandy.

Damage to the garage and its contents from the fire was estimated at $20,000 to 30,000, police said.

Trooper David Beohm said last month that a veteran investigator called the crime scene the worst he had seen, and he said the reason may never be known.

“We will always try to find out why this happened,” Beohm said. “Sometimes we find out, sometimes we don’t.”