Story Summary

Man accused of killing ex-girlfriend in Dauphin County

Police in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County have charged a man with killing his ex-girlfriend. They say he strangled her at her apartment on the 4000 block of Rawleigh Street early Saturday morning. Investigators have not released the names of the victim or the suspect yet, but say the man is in custody.


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James Greer Jr.

James Greer Jr.

A York County prison inmate accused of killing the mother of his child in Lower Paxton Township on Dec. 7 was found dead in his jail cell on Christmas eve morning.

According to a news release issued by York County Prison officials,  28-year-old James Earl Greer Jr. was found unresponsive in his cell around 3 a.m.

Greer was being held in York County Prison at the request of Dauphin County, the news release stated.

Greer was in jail for the strangling death of 32-year-old Heather Marie Bechtel, police said.

Investigators say that after killing Bechtel in her Rawleigh Street apartment, Greer tried unsuccessfully to poison himself. He was treated at a local hospital and released back into police custody.

A preliminary hearing for Greer was scheduled for Feb. 7.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Pennsylvania State Police and the York County Coroner’s Office are investigating.


James Greer Jr.

James Greer Jr.

A Harrisburg man was arrested Saturday for strangling and killing his ex-girlfriend in her Lower Paxton Township apartment, police said. James Earl Greer Jr., 27, is charged with criminal homicide in the death of 32-year-old Heather Marie Bechtel.

Officers found Bechtel dead inside her apartment along the 4000 block of Rawleigh Street around 6 a.m. on Saturday.

Police arrested Greer in the emergency room of  Harrisburg Hospital after he tried to poison himself. Two children, ages 2 and 6,  were inside the apartment at the time Bechtel was killed, police said.

Both children have been placed in the custody of family members. Police say Greer was the father of the two-year-old.

Investigators say they had been to the victim’s apartment on prior occasions for domestic violence issues between Greer and Bechtel.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 17.

Greer was denied bail and taken to Dauphin County Prison.

Lower paxton township

Written By: Katie Kyros

Police found a woman strangled to death in her bedroom, at her apartment on the 4000 block of Rawleigh Street in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County Saturday morning. Friends say she was living in fear that it would happen. Two of her children were sleeping nearby.

Her ex-boyfriend is in custody. Friends say she had a restraining order, and he was recently arrested after coming to the apartment with a gun.

“To be shocked, I can’t say I’m really shocked,” says friend and neighbor Wendy Turner. “His intent was to kill her and he did just that. It saddens me that she’s gone and it saddens me these children are without a mother.”

Turner says the victim was set to start a new job, and she offered to babysit the two children.

“I just feel not enough was done to protect her,” says Turner. “She even had an escape route planned, and for some reason he snuck up on her and just did what he did.”

Police say the suspect is before a judge tonight and is being held at the Dauphin County Prison. They are not releasing the victim’s name yet.

The two children are in the care of county Children and Youth.


A woman was found dead early Saturday inside a Lower Paxton Township apartment, and police say the death is “suspicious.” Officers responded to the apartment located along the 4000 block of Rawleigh Street for an unknown problem around 6 a.m.

When authorities entered the apartment they found woman’s body inside the bedroom and a man who was sick.

The man was taken to a local hospital for what appeared to be a poisoning, police said.

The Dauphin County Forensics Unit are assisting police and the Coroner’s office in the investigation.

FOX43 News will continue to update this story as more details become available.