Man charged in death of woman whose body was found in recycling bin

ALLENTOWN, Pa.  (WTXF) Authorities say a 62-year-old Allentown man has been charged with one count of homicide and one count  of abuse of a corpse in the death of a woman whose body was found in a recycling bin in.

According to authorities, Walter Bratvold, of  Allentown, was charged in the death of Rose Sieniawski, 59, after an investigation by Allentown police and the Lehigh County Homicide Task Force.  Bratvold had been charged in February with five counts of attempted homicide and 10 counts of aggravated assault for allegedly shooting and injuring an Allentown detective investigating the victim's death. Bratvold, who was shot in an exchange of gunfire, was transferred on March 8th from a  hospital to Lehigh County Jail, police say.

According to police, they determined that Bratvold and the victim had been in a relationship. Police say on February. 14th Allentown police responded to Tilghman St. after getting a report of a suspicious item being found in a recycling bin. A maintenance worker noticed a foul-smelling odor coming from several trash bags inside the bin.  Police say they found a decomposed body, identified as that of a female, inside the bags.

An autopsy determined that the woman, who had not yet been identified, died of multiple gunshot wounds. Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim ruled the manner of death as homicide. No identification had been found on the victim.  Fingerprints were taken and were sent to the FBI for comparison. The victim later was identified as Rose Sieniawski. 

Sieniawski's employer told police that Sieniawski had not been to work since Feb. 9th and had not called in to work.  Workers verified that the victim left her job at about 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 9th and walked away from the area with a man they identified as Walter Bratvold, according to police.

On Feb. 16th, members of the Allentown Police Emergency Response Team attempted to serve a warrant and Bratvold  allegedly opened fire and struck officer. Allentown police took Bratvold into custody and served him with the warrant.

Police say they recovered a .22-caliber revolver from the apartment.  The gun later was tested and
matched a bullet recovered from the victim, according to investigators. Police say shell casings recovered from the apartment were analyzed and were consistent with being fired from the revolver. Police determined that the gun had been purchased by Bratvold, according to the investigation.  

Authorities say they noticed that the apartment smelled of decomposition. The recycling bin in which the body was found was located at an apartment building two blocks from Bratvold's apartment. according to investigators.


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