York City man charged with homicide, abuse of corpse: Police

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

A York City man faces criminal homicide and other charges after a tipster told police he witnessed the killing and helped dispose of the body, according to court records.

Carlos Omar Rivera-Rivera II, 24, was arraigned Tuesday in the court of Magisterial Court Judge Joel Toluba on charges related to the March slaying of Edgardo Bermudez-Melendez, 31. Rivera-Rivera was denied bail in the case.

In addition to the criminal homicide charge, Rivera-Rivera faces two misdemeanor charges of abuse of a corpse and evidence tampering. 

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Bermudez-Melendez was reported missing March 14 by his girlfriend to West York Borough Police. Five days later, his body was found by Pennsylvania State Police troopers on an embankment in the area of Holtwood Road in Martic Township, Lancaster County.  

Carlos Omar Rivera-Rivera II was charged with felony homicide in connection with the shooting death of a man back in March. York County Prison

According to court records, police at the scene discovered Bermudez-Melendez had been shot in the head. A subsequent autopsy by the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office determined that he had been shot multiple times, including twice in the head. 

Three days after Bermudez-Melendez's body was discovered, court documents show a detective from the East Lampeter Township Police received a tip that identified Rivera-Rivera as the shooter, and that Rivera-Rivera subsequently fled to California. 

In April, according to court documents, a witness told police that Rivera-Rivera and Bermudez-Melendez were at a garage in the 300 block of West Gas Street in York City around midnight on March 13. The witness said he later heard a loud boom that he assumed was a gunshot.

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The witness told police he saw Rivera-Rivera holding a gun and Bermudez-Melendez slumped over the open trunk of Rivera-River's car. According to the court document, the witness said Rivera-Rivera fired several additional shots through the back seat of his car into the trunk area where Bermudez-Melendez was confined. Rivera-Rivera then left the scene with the victim still inside the trunk, the witness said.

That witness told police he drove Bermudez-Melendez’s car to an area in West Manchester Township, where they left that car and got into Rivera-Rivera's. Court records allege that the pair then drove to a bridge, where Bermudez-Melendez's body was dumped down an embankment.

According to court records, no charges have been filed against the witness in the case.

A preliminary hearing in the case is set for Aug. 29. 

— Reach Anthony Maenza at amaenza@yorkdispatch.com or @atmaenza on Twitter.