Tuesday, June 19, 2012

North Wildwood, PA:Man who allegedly murdered two women in Pennsylvania arrested in North Wildwood

NORTH WILDWOOD--The Pennsylvania man who allegedly murdered his girlfriend and her mother was arrested Sunday in Cape May County. He remains behind bars in New Jersey while waiting to be extradited back to Pennsylvania where he faces murder charges.

“Very surprised, very surprised.” The general manager of Sandy Shores Resort Motel in North Wildwood says he couldn't be more shocked after learning the man accused of murdering two people in Pennsylvania was taken into custody at this business early Sunday morning. “The detectives and undercover were professional,” said Sal Battaglia, “nobody knew anything, we found out all the information pertaining to the case the following day.”

Authorities say 22 year-old Gary Charles Gerlach was arrested without incident, and confessed to murdering his girlfriend, 22 year-old Mackenzie Hess, and her 56 year-old mother, Mona Hess Saturday morning inside the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania home the three shared. Autopsy reports show that Mackenzie had been strangled in an upstairs bedroom, while Mona was beaten to death. “She was an all around great person,” said one of their neighbors, “she always said hi to my daughter asked how she was doing. It's...you know, it's really sad.”

Authorities say information developed by Pennsylvania detectives led them to North Wildwood, and even though the crime may've happened a state away, some hope that just the fact the suspect was arrested in town does not negatively affect the family friendly resort. “The Wildwoods are a great place to be,” said Battaglia, “it's a safe area, North Wildwood is gorgeous.”

Gerlach, who is facing murder charges back home, is in the Cape May County jail on $25,000 bail and is waiting to be extradited by to Pennsylvania. Authorities say an extradition hearing for Gerlach has not yet been scheduled, due to lack of legal representation for him. They expect the proceeding to happen in the next couple of days.

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