York City man's remains found in burned-out vehicle in Virginia

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

Authorities in Virginia have charged a suspect with murder after a York City man's remains were found in a burned-out vehicle there last week. 

The victim was identified as Ethan Bert, 20, of York City, His body was found April 18 in Bedford City, Virginia, according to Bedford County Commonwealth Attorney Wes Nance. 

Joseph Richard Walker, 29, of Roanoke, Virginia, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder in the case, Nance said.  

“He was arrested in Florida by local law enforcement,” Nance said. “The extradition process has begun, and I expect Mr. Walker to be back in Bedford County no later than the middle of next week.  The victim and suspect are believed to be known to one another.” 

According to court documents from Brevard County, Florida, Walker was arrested April 20 in Titusville, Florida, by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. A fugitive warrant for his arrest was filed the same day, and he was denied bail.

A hearing on his extradition back to Virginia is scheduled for May 4 at the Brevard County Detention Center before Judge Judith E. Atkin.

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Members of the Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force also assisted the sheriff's department with Walker's arrest , according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals Service in Florida. Walker had two stolen firearms and a large bag of marijuana that were seized after the arrest, according to the statement.

Walker has an extensive criminal history, including distribution of marijuana, distribution of marijuana while in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the U.S. Marshal's Service said.

“The arrest of Mr. Walker serves as a prime example of the cooperation of federal, state and local law enforcement working together to make Florida communities safer,” stated William Berger Sr., U.S. Marshal for the Middle District of Florida. “I’m extremely proud of the men and women who dedicate themselves daily to the service of their fellow citizens.” 

Nance said that due to the complex nature of the investigation into Bert’s death, he has not received a copy of the arrest warrant. 

“This is an ongoing, and multifaceted investigation,” he said. “I would encourage anyone who has pertinent information to contact the Bureau of Investigations of the Virginia State Police in Salem or this office. I extend my thanks to the multiple agencies that have assisted in the investigation thus far.”