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Cops: Pennsylvania man killed roommate over beer on Halloween, photographed his body

BRENTWOOD, Pa. — A Pennsylvania man is in jail after police say he beat his roommate to death during an argument over beer, reports CBS affiliate KDKA.

Allegheny County Police told the station they are charging the suspect, who KDKA identifies as Justin Vankirk, 34, in connection with the death of his roommate, Charles Parker, on Halloween night. When investigators searched Vankirk’s cell phone, they say they found a photo of the victim lying on the dining room floor. 

According to the criminal complaint, Vankirk called police a day later, on Tuesday afternoon, to report his roommate had died.

Officials reportedly pronounced Parker dead at the scene, and investigators say Vankirk gave “various accounts of how he found the victim, and a timeline of events had varied as well.”

Vankirk was taken into custody and when police questioned him he “admitted that he got into a confrontation with the victim,” according to the criminal complaint. Vankirk allegedly told police that Parker stole some beer he bought and that during the ensuing confrontation he struck his roommate several times on the face and head.

Parker reportedly suffered bruising, swelling and he was bleeding from his lips and mouth.

The suspect said he then “dragged the victim from the bedroom/living room area to the dining area, because he did not want any blood to get on his carpet” and then went to bed, according to the criminal complaint.

When examining the victim, investigators reported “abnormalities about the back” of his head. Investigators said Vankirk’s knuckles were swollen and he had blood on one of his shoes.

“They were really good neighbors,” said neighbor Sarah Spreckic. “Chuck, he would always take the garbage out for us. We liked [both of them] a lot.”

Vankirk is now charged with aggravated assault, but the investigation is ongoing and the station reports that the charge is likely to be upgraded to criminal homicide. 

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