Wilkws-Barre Man’s Death Ruled Homicide
The death of Fred J. Boote Jr., the city man found dead in his home early Friday morning, has been ruled a homicide due to multiple stab wounds.
That determination followed a Saturday autopsy, according to Dan Hughes, Luzerne County’s chief deputy coroner.
Police on Saturday also confirmed that a search at a Maffett Street apartment building on Friday was related to Boote’s death.
Police found Boote, 58, stabbed to death in his residence at 14 Donald Court, in South Wilkes-Barre, at about 4 a.m. Friday. An officer responding to a report of a stray dog went to Boote’s address, which was listed on the dog’s tag, and found the door ajar, with lights on inside the home. He called for backup, and officers entered the home and found Boote’s body.
Boote had been stabbed in the back, and the scene suggested signs of a struggle, with indications the killer tried to set fire to the home before fleeing, according to police.
The investigation into Boote’s death led to a search at a “secondary scene” at 95 Maffett St., a multi-unit residential building, on Friday, city police said in a post to the department’s Facebook page.
Officers recovered and processed evidence during the Friday search, police said, but they did not provide further details.
Wilkes-Barre police, state police and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office continue to investigate.
Anyone with information is asked to call city police at 570-208-4222.
Possible connection to missing person case?
Authorities on Saturday declined to comment on whether there is a connection between the Boote homicide and a missing person case that involves a 14-year-old girl who was last seen in the company of a 31-year-old man on Friday afternoon, near the site of the police search.
Alex Reyes, the missing girl, was last seen with Reynaldo Mercado at about 2:15 p.m. Friday on Maffett Street, according to a news release posted to the state police Facebook page.
Police believe Reyes may be at risk of harm or injury, the news release states.
She is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 105 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing black shorts and a black short-sleeve shirt.
Mercado is described as 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing about 210 pounds, with short black hair and hazel eyes.
Anyone with information regarding Reyes or Mercado is asked to call 911 immediately.
A member of Boote’s family, in a Facebook post, beseeched anyone with information about the missing people to “please help.”
— ERIC MARK