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Skeletal remains of ‘Kunkletown Killer’ found on Appalachian Trail

Officials in Northampton County are investigating the death of a 65-year-old Catasauqua man whose skeletal remains were found Nov. 14 by two hunters in a remote area of the Appalachian Trail in Moore Township.

Police identified the deceased as William Edelman, known as the “Kunkletown Killer,” who had been missing since March 24.

Edelman served a prison sentence for the 1990 killing of two people in the woods near Kunkletown and had been out on parole, living in an apartment in Catasauqua.

Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek said while the skeletal remains were taken to his office for identification, “the date of death is consistent with the time at which he (Edelman) went missing.”

The cause of death is pending.

Edelman’s family reported him missing after searching around and in the Lehigh River, canal and woods near the Front Street apartment where he lived alone. He was reported to be schizophrenic and suicidal, officials said.

Catasauqua police Chief Douglas Kish said police investigating Edelman’s disappearance interviewed people who were connected to the homicide case, in addition to searching the area with cadaver dogs and drones and twice conducting sonar searches in the Lehigh River.

According to reports, in 1990, Edelman had stopped taking medication for schizophrenia in the days before killing Alex Turoczi III, 37, of Saylorsburg - whom Edelman had known since childhood - and James Yaple, 37, of Kunkletown, and seriously wounding Charles Gustin, then 45, of Nazareth.

In 1992, he pleaded guilty but mentally ill to two counts of third-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault and was sentenced to 15-30 years in prison.