Father charged in fatal boating crash that killed wife, daughter


The father and lone survivor of a boating crash that killed his wife and toddler daughter in May has been charged in their death, according to criminal docket sheets filed with Dauphin County Courts.

Cody Binkley has been charged with the following:

  • 2 counts of homicide by vehicle while operating a watercraft under the influence
  • 1 count of felony involuntary manslaughter
  • 1 count of misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter
  • 1 count of endangering welfare of children
  • 2 counts of misdemeanor homicide by watercraft
  • 3 counts of operating a watercraft with any amount of schedule I, II, III or Metabolite in System


On May 7, the family of three and their dog were out on the family fishing boat when it capsized on the Susquehanna River near the Dock Street Dam in Harrisburg late at night.

The body of Cody's wife, Mary Bredbenner, was found a short time later a few miles away down river near the Turnpike Bridge.

“This was unusual & required investigation,” DA says about missing child, capsized boat

Nearly three days later the body of three-year-old Madelyn Binkley has been found at the Union Street Boat Ramp according to the Chief of River Rescue Frank Egresitz Sr.

Heartbreaking | Body of Madelyn Binkley recovered nearly 3 days after boat capsizes

The cause of death for both Bredbenner and Madelyn Binkley was accidental fresh water drowning.

Cody Binkley was the only survivor, as he was able to get to shore and call for help. He was taken to the hospital and treated for hypothermia.

The investigation into a fatal boating accident continues

Law enforcement investigating the incident said drug paraphernalia and "indications of drug use" by the parents were found at the scene, according to Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo.

DA Chardo explained his office became involved in the investigation into the capsized boat because "this was unusual."

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