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Suspected killer arrested

EASTON — A man being sought in the shooting death of his wife in eastern Pennsylvania has been arrested in Colorado, police said.

Edgar Himel was taken into custody at about 1 a.m. Saturday by police in Sterling, Colorado, and is being held pending extradition to Pennsylvania, Palmer Township police said.

Himel, 80, was wanted in the murder of 66-year-old Penny VanTassel-Himel, whose body was found July 7 at her township home. Three days earlier, a call from her cellphone had reported an emergency, but officers didn’t make contact with anyone at the residence.

Police found that Himel had been to Nebraska hotels along Interstate 80 and was heading west. Investigators then got a tip that he was in Sterling, which is northeast of Denver near Colorado’s border with Nebraska and Wyoming, police said. He was taken into custody without incident at a hotel, police said.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said the suspect had been in contact with individuals since leaving the area and acknowledged he “screwed things up, messed things up in a substantial way and he was leaving the area.”

Palmer Township police officers went to the home to investigate the July 4 911 call and saw an older man fitting Himel’s description through a window, but did not go inside, authorities said last week. Police believe the victim was killed that day but her body wasn’t found until officers returned after she failed to appear in church.

Morganelli said Edgar Himel has “made a number of contacts with individuals” since leaving the area and acknowledged he “screwed things up, messed things up in a substantial way and he was leaving the area.”

Court documents don’t list an attorney for Himel. Funeral services for Penny VanTassel are scheduled July 20 at Greater Shiloh.

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