Man Accused of Chopping Daughter's Boyfriend's Head Off

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    New charges were filed yesterday in the case of a headless body found in a steel drum.

    WATCH: Residents say a vacant lot is being used as contractor dumping ground

    Charges -- including first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse -- were filed in Crawford County against a Pennsylvania man already jailed in the death of his daughter's longtime boyfriend.

    Richard Houy, of Cambridge Springs, was arraigned Wednesday on the new charges and faces a preliminary hearing Oct. 16. Online court records don't list an attorney for him.

    Houy, 68, was charged with criminal homicide last week in the death of 55-year-old Gerald VanDyke, whose body -- missing its head and hands -- were found in a steel drum.

    Police say Houy initially told them he dumped VanDyke's body in a creek after he punched the victim, who fell and hit his head in a dispute. But police now believe VanDyke was fatally shot with a hunting arrow, then partially dismembered with a chain saw Houy borrowed.

    An autopsy found that the man in the steel drum died from a hunting arrow that went through his heart.

    Houy's daughter told police he led her to believe that VanDyke's body, "in whole or in parts,'' was placed in barrels or drums, police said. She also told police that she had terminated her relationship with VanDyke and hired an attorney to split the 26 acres of land they jointly owned.

    Houy became a person of interest in the case on Sept. 20, when he was suspected of being the source of two anonymous phone calls made to state police about VanDyke, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

    In both calls, made the morning of Sept. 18, the caller told police that VanDyke indicated that he was leaving town and didn't want anyone to know where he was going.

    Police said Houy at first denied making the anonymous phone calls but later admitted it.

    Houy is being held without bail in the Crawford County jail, according to court records.

    Cambridge Springs is located about 20 miles south of Erie, Pa.

     


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