Prosecutors Charge Man With Stabbing, Killing Girlfriend, Boy Then Torching Home - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Prosecutors Charge Man With Stabbing, Killing Girlfriend, Boy Then Torching Home

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Man Charged With Killing Woman & Her Son

    Atlantic County Prosecutors charged Joseph Palmer with killing who they believe were Michelle (Heist) Pabst and her son Gavin Pabst and then torching their Egg Harbor City home. (Published Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014)

    A South Jersey man found bleeding outside a South Jersey house fire now faces arson and murder charges in the deaths of his girlfriend and her son.

    The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office announced charges Friday against Joseph Palmer III in the deadly fire along the 200 block of Washington Avenue — not far from the White Horse Pike (U.S. Route 30) — in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey.

    Earlier, police said the fire that killed two people — believed to be 38-year-old Michelle (Heist) Pabst and her 7-year-old son Gavin Pabst — appeared to be intentionally set.

    Flames broke out around 8 a.m. Wednesday. Emergency responders found the Pabsts dead in the home and medics transported a third victim, later identified as Palmer, to the hospital after finding him outside the home, according to investigators.

    Man Torched Home After Stabbing Woman, Her Son: Prosecutors

    [PHI] Man Torched Home After Stabbing Woman, Her Son: Prosecutors
    Joseph Palmer faces murder and arson charges in the Egg Harbor City fire that left a 38-year-old woman who he lived with, and her 7-year-old son, dead.
    (Published Friday, Nov. 14, 2014)

    An autopsy completed Thursday revealed the woman died of multiple sharp object and blunt-force trauma injuries while her son died from multiple stab wounds.

    "She was one of my best friends," said a friend of the victim. "Her son was one of my daughter's best friends. She's very sad."

    Multiple fire departments, law enforcement agencies and the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office remained on the scene throughout the morning as they tried to figure out the circumstances of the blaze. Prosecutors called the fire "suspicious."

    Palmer originally placed the blame on someone else, according to investigators.

    "He was telling investigators that somebody broke into the house," said Egg Harbor City Police Sergeant Dylan Hutton.

    After being released from the hospital, Palmer was arraigned Friday on murder and aggravated arson and sent to county jail unable to post $2 million cash bail.

    Suspicious House Fire

    [PHI] Suspicious House Fire
    A mother and her son are killed in an Egg Harbor City house fire that investigators believe was intentionally set. NBC10's George Spencer has the details.
    (Published Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014)