Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 19, 2024
Lehigh County Man Charged in Dismemberment Homicide of Roommate, Remains Scattered Across Pennsylvania TownSource: Pennsylvania State Police

A Lehigh County man is standing accused of a grisly crime following the homicide and dismembering of his roommate, dumping the remains at various locales. Joshua Moser, 33, was arrested and is facing charges including criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence, according to officials.

Reports of 37-year-old David Hittinger's disappearance were made on May 13, the day he was to celebrate his birthday, revealing he had not been seen since May 11. This prompted authorities to swiftly begin an investigation. As reported by NBC Philadelphia, Moser recently had allowed Hittinger to stay with him at his home on the 600 block of West Franklin Street in Slatington, which became a primary scene in the investigation. During a news conference on Friday, Lehigh County District Attorney Gavin Holihan said there "appeared to be some sort of disagreement" before the killing.

However, the exact motive behind the murder remains undisclosed. A bloody and "hastily staged" scene in the basement of Moser's home led investigators to discover evidence including a saw and a box cutter, noted in the criminal complaint obtained by 6ABC Action News.

In what amounts to an apparent confession, Moser allegedly told state police that he strangled and hit Hittinger with a hammer in the basement, before proceeding to dismember the body and scatter the remains in key locations – found in Fairview Cemetery, along the D&L Trail, and near a small quarry. This harrowing detail was provided by Moser during an interview with investigators, 6ABC Action News revealed.

Neighbors had reported disturbances from the house. "It was Josh. He was saying, 'Get the f out of here, you don't belong here,'" Caydence Waterhouse recounted to 6ABC Action News. Waterhouse also mentioned Hittinger's recent move into the residence and his quiet demeanor.

The cause and manner of death remain under official determination, though the Lehigh County coroner has ruled it a homicide. Arraigned May 17, Moser was denied bail and is being held at the Monroe County Prison, as per official statements. His prior record includes a fatal DUI crash in 2016, adding to the severity of his present incarceration.