Man charged in four-year-old murder case


Four years after her death, police say they've solved the murder of an elderly Nanticoke woman.

Police arrested her then-neighbor from a block away, who's already in prison.

Investigators say Anthony Spudis, 35,an SCI Somerset inmate, lived just 820 feet away from the home of Gertrude Price. 97.

On Thursday, he was charged with killing her.

"Besides living in the same vicinity, in the same area in Nanticoke, no, we did not see that there was any connection between the two," says Luzerne County DA Stefanie Salvantis.

Police say it was on Thanksgiving in 2013 when Spudis found Price during his burglary on E. Grand St., and killed her, then continued to burglarize the home.

After that, police say Spudis went back to his home on W. Union.

"He senselessly inflicted severe trauma, which led to her death," says Salavantis.

The criminal complaint says Spuids stabbed Price in her head and ear, apparently with a screwdriver.

Back at his home, police say he told his girlfriend that he pushed Price and she was still alive.

But when Spudis and the girlfriend went back, Price was in her bed not breathing, the criminal complaint says.

Spudis told the girlfriend that he didn't mean to hurt Price, and they couldn't call the police, the complaint says.

In July, police say Spudis told an informant he went out robbing houses that night, and that he'd gone through Price's basement window, thinking no one was home.

Officers searched his former home in August.

"They came three months ago saying they was doing zoning," says new tenant's sister Tara Foerster. "Then, the next day, the state police crime lab came and they were here all day, digging in the basement, and then they took out a bag and a box. We had no idea what it was, but it was a five -year investigation."

Police say they found Price's Access card bills, letters, family photos, and a jewelry drawer in Spudis' basement ceiling., along with Timerland boots that matched footprints from Price's basement.

"I'm just so happy. I'm thankful to the DA's office and best Christmas present ever,"says daughter Carol Belmont. "Wonderful lady, 97 years old. Didn't take a pill, didn't know what it was to have a headache, took care of herself and her own home. She was quite a lady. best mom ever, grandma, great-grandma."

"It was a tiresome investigation for four years, but we kept on it and we're here today as a result of that,"says State Police Lt Gary Vogue.

"You do the crime, sooner or later, you're gonna do the time," says neighbor Lester Haring

"I am just so thankful for them, that they purused it and they kept going and they got results," says Belmont.

Spudis has a lengthy record, including burglary and drug convictions out of Nanticoke and Plymouth. Police say he's been in jail since 2014.


Earlier Update: Anthony Spudis is now facing charges, accused of killing 97-year-old Gertrude Price in her home on Thanksgiving in 2013.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis made the announcement Thursday morning at the Pennsylvania State Police Wyoming barracks.

Four years ago, a relative found Price dead in her home after neighbors say they noticed strange lights in the home.

Police called the incident a robbery turned homicide.

Officials say Spudis broke into the home, forcing open a basement window before beating Price to death.

Police say Spudis lived just a few block away from Price at the time of the homicide.

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