Police: Man beats Berks County couple to death with hammer, lights self on fire

Authorities say a Berks County couple were beaten to death with a hammer by a third person who then died after setting himself on fire in the garage.

State police say DNA tests are being done to identify the third person, who died of smoke inhalation after using an accelerant to set himself on fire. He is also believed to have killed two dogs who had their throats slit and two cats that were stomped to death. 

Police called to the Union Township home shortly before 5:30 p.m. Saturday found the bodies of 60-year-old Ira Reed Jr. and 63-year-old Joanne Deluca in the living room and the third person’s body in the garage.

Neighbors said the couple and an adult son moved there several years ago from southern New Jersey after losing their home in Superstorm Sandy.

"I can assure all of you that the public is in no danger. We are rather certain of what took place here," Berks County District Attorney John Adams said.


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3 found dead after Berks County fire; home called 'crime scene'

The Associated Press contributed to this report.