Police: Son facing charges after father's body was found in barrel

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EAST VANDERGRIFT, Pa. —

A son is facing charges after his father’s body was found in the basement of a Westmoreland County home Tuesday morning.
 
According to Vandergrift police Chief Joseph Caporali, the body of David Thomas Sr. was in a 55-gallon plastic drum in the basement of a home on Kennedy Avenue in East Vandergrift.

David Thomas Jr., 32, didn’t make eye contact with Channel 11 as he was taken to jail after failing to post a $55,000 bond.

Police said Thomas Jr. lived with his 59-year-old father. 

Thomas Jr. was charged with identity theft and abuse of a corpse Tuesday night.

Police believe Thomas Jr. used his father’s bank cards to steal money from his checking accounts.

The coroner said Thomas Sr. died from natural causes. 

Investigators said Thomas Jr. hid the body because he wanted the disability checks.

One neighbor told Channel 11 she hadn’t seen the homeowner for a while.
 
“I haven’t seen him, and I thought, ‘Well, maybe he moved out of here.’ I haven’t seen him for about a month,” said Mary Anuszek.
 
Neighbors said the man served in Vietnam, had some health problems and lived with his son.
 
Police believe Thomas Sr. may have been dead for two to three weeks before his body was found.