SHAMOKIN – The woman whose body was found in a blood-splattered room on the outskirts of Shamokin on Sunday has been identified and a person of interest in her death has been arrested on charges of drug trafficking.

Northumberland County Coroner James F. Kelley on Monday identified the woman as Sarah E. Jones, 61, West Holly Street, in Coal Twp. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, he said.

Christopher M. Depka, 39, who lives at the same address, was arrested on Sunday for possession of methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana and drug accessories. He is jailed in lieu of a $ 50.00 bond.

No one has been charged with Jones’ death which is under investigation by Coal Twp. Police. Depka is considered a person of interest, investigators said.

Depka was located in the bathroom tearing up the floor, telling police he intended to replace him.

According to a police affidavit, a syringe with a needle attached and a black bag containing syringes, needles, suspected marijuana and a white substance was also found in the bathroom.

When Depka was searched, they said they found a bag in a pocket of shorts he was wearing under his pants that tested positive for methamphetamine.

Coal twp. Police discovered the body during a social assistance check Sunday morning at the behest of a neighbor.

She had called the police when she could not reach Jones who she had brought onions to on Saturday.

Police said they found blood splattered on the bedroom wall and ceiling and a baseball bat nearby.


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