NEW CASTLE, Pa. — The New Castle police chief told Channel 11’s Amy Marcinkiewicz the body of Amari Wise, who has been missing for over a week, was found in a wooded area off Pennsylvania Avenue in Shenango Township Monday afternoon.
Officials said it was a Shenango Township police officer driving along the road who found Wise’s body near a creek.
On Monday night, the coroner ruled Wise’s death as a homicide due to a gunshot wound to the head.
Two men have been charged in connection with Wise’s death.
Police said Connor Henry, 20, faces charges of criminal homicide and tampering with evidence, and his father, Todd Henry, 47, was charged with criminal conspiracy to commit homicide, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence. Both are charged in connection with the case of Amari Wise, reported missing since early June.
Connor Henry was arrested Sunday night in Ocean City, Maryland, New Castle police said.
Todd Henry was arrested on Monday.
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According to a criminal complaint a car was found June 7 about a mile down a trail in New Castle by police officers. Wise was last seen driving the red Toyota Camry, and it was reported as an “unauthorized use” to police. A black handgun and a cellphone were found in the car. The vehicle belonged to another man and it was later processed by state police, who found evidence of blood throughout the car.
After the car had been found, police said the public called in numerous tips that Wise had been killed in the garage of Todd Henry after an argument.
On June 8, police obtained a search warrant, and Todd Henry gave his consent to have the property searched at 918 Adams Street. Police said he appeared nervous while he was being questioned and continued to look at full bags of trash that were on the porch. A spent bullet and magazines were found and taken as evidence.
Investigators said in court documents that they started looking at surveillance video from the area where the red Toyota Camry was located. They said they watched a black Honda registered to Todd Henry drive into the area on the same night as the Camry. The Honda was found outside of Todd Henry’s home and was taken as evidence June 9.
That same day, police talked with a neighbor who said he had cameras that recorded both audio and video. Detectives reviewed the footage and heard a distinct, clear single gunshot followed by shouting, panicked voices on the night of June 5.
When police searched Todd Henry’s home, they found a couch in the garage and a 4-by-3 foot section of the floor that was not the same color as the rest of the floor. Police said it appeared to have been pressure washed. Investigators also found what appeared to be blood about 3 feet in from the door.
Another search warrant was obtained June 10 for the Adams Street property. Police examined couch cushion covers, a pair of shoes and swabs from the garage floor. Investigators said all of the items indicated positive for the presence of blood.
The next day, another man came to the New Castle police station and reported he had tried to buy marijuana from the Henry residence. He said when he arrived, the garage door was partially open and he could see someone pressure washing the garage floor. The man said he was told to leave and that Todd Henry “was gonna smoke him.”
Several days later, two criminal informants talked with investigators who said the night of the incident, there was a group - including Todd Henry, Connor Henry and Wise - who were drinking and smoking marijuana in the garage, according to the criminal complaint. Wise was wearing a fanny pack across his chest and started arguing with another man. Wise said he “was going to shoot” the other man and put his hand on the pack. At that time, Connor Henry, who was standing behind Wise, shot him with a black semi-automatic shotgun. Both informants said they saw Wise drop to the ground instantly before they ran away.
Lawrence County District Attorney Josh Lamancusa told Channel 11 he is not ruling out first-degree murder in this case.
Police said Connor Henry waived extradition. Authorities picked him up from Ocean City, Maryland on Thursday and brought him back to Pennsylvania to face those charges.
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