Lou Hartdegen: Pa. man charged with murdering wife and faking home invasion, police say

The scene of Judith Hartdegen
CBS Philly
The scene of Judith Hartdegen's murder being investigated by Philadelphia police, Monday, May 6, 2013.
CBS Philly

(CBS/AP) PHILADELPHIA - An elderly northeast Philadelphia man has been charged with beating his wife to death Monday and then making up a story about a home invasion, according to authorities.

Prosecutors said 75-year-old Lou Hartdegen was also charged Tuesday with possession of an instrument of crime, abuse of a corpse, false reports and aggravated assault in the death of his 74-year-old wife, Judith.

CBS Philly reports that Capt. James Clark, head of the police department's homicide unit, said that Hartdegen made up the home invasion story to cover up the fact that he suffocated and killed his wife during a domestic dispute.

Hartdegen initially told cops his neighbor had broken into their apartment and began to attack the couple early Monday, but investigators found discrepancies between his statements and the crime scene. The neighbor was questioned for several hours and then released, according to CBS Philly.

The station reported the motive for the woman's killing was not clear and that the couple had filed for bankruptcy in February.

Hartdegen is scheduled to be arraigned Monday night, once arraigned he will be held without bail.

  • Iris Carreras

    Iris Carreras covers crime for