Published: May 1, 2003
LEBANON, Penn. — Charles Edward Shifflett, Sr, has admitted to Pennsylvania police that he dumped his business partner’s body into the Susquehanna River, but he insists that he did not kill him, according to The Patriot-News of Harrisburg.
The 50-year-old North Annville Township resident is being held without bail in the Dauphin County Prison after he was arrested April 26 in connection with the death of Charles Richardson, 43, of Meshoppen, Penn.
Richardson was known as a collector of railroad-related antiques, especially railroad lanterns. His lantern collection was thought to be one of the best in the country.
Shifflett has been charged with criminal homicide, arson, tampering with or fabricating evidence and abuse of a corpse.
The newspaper reported that Shifflett told Pennsylvania State Trooper Kristal Turner-Childs that he woke up in his motor home at a rest stop in Tennessee only to find Richardson dead. The two were on a trip to Georgia, reportedly to inspect a collection of interest to Richardson, at the time of his death. Pennsylvania police believe Shifflett killed Richardson and dumped his body into the Susquehanna River from the Clark’s Ferry Bridge on either Wednesday or Thursday.
Richardson’s girlfriend, Tracey Sincavage, reported him missing on Wednesday, according The Patriot-News.
Shifflett told police varying stories on what transpired on the trip to Georgia, according to the newspaper, admitting in the end that he set the motor home on fire at another rest stop near Appomattox, Va., in order to destroy physical evidence. He then told police that he continued to drive north in a car that he had been towing behind the motor home to Pennsylvania, where he dumped Richardson’s body in the Susquehanna River.
The Patriot-News reported this week that a fishing guide found the body on Friday, April 25. Police reported that there were severe injuries to Richardson’s head, including a laceration on the right side of the head. His body was found wrapped in a quilt with a trashcan attached to the body, according to the newspaper.
Dick Jayne, who owns and operates Indian Hill Antiques in Laceyville, Penn., said this week that he had been a close friend of Richardson’s for 17 years. “Chuck really loved his railroad stuff, ” he said.
Richardson and Shifflett had known each other for 15 or 20 years, according to Mr Jayne, and had done business together frequently over that period of time. The Richardson collection was known by reputation, but it was rarely seen, according to Mr Jayne. “Chuck was very private about his collection.”
There have been no memorial services for Mr Richardson and none were scheduled at press time. Police were scheduled to release his body on April 28.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm