Man charged in death of burned, dismembered former friend

The Associated Press
LOGO arrest

WEST MIDDLESEX, Pa. – Authorities have charged a man in the death of a former friend found burned and dismembered in a shallow grave in western Pennsylvania two years ago.

State police in Mercer County accuse 42-year-old Christopher Shelatree Senior of Sharon of killing 59-year-old Joseph DiFrischia, who disappeared in April 2016.

Authorities allege that Shelatree broke the victim’s ribs, causing internal bleeding, then burned the body and buried the torso in a shallow grave, disposing of the victim’s head and extremities elsewhere.

Shelatree is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, theft, abuse of a corpse and other counts. Police say another man acknowledged helping bury what he thought was a dog but feared might have been the victim.

Shelatree is behind bars in an unrelated case; court documents don’t list an attorney.