Pa homicide suspect, Anthony Franklin, arrested in South America

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Anthony Rocco Franklin

BLOOMSBURG, Pa.-(WPMT)  A Pennsylvania man wanted on a homicide charge in Columbia County is arrested in South America.

State Police say Anthony Rocco Franklin, 72, was taken into custody on Monday by federal police while walking down a street in the neighborhood of Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Franklin was wanted in connection with a July 1, 2012 homicide in Hemlock Township, Columbia County.


Maria Sanutti-Spencer

Franklin and his daughter, Maria Sanutti-Spencer, 49, of Harrisburg, are accused of the execution style killing of her ex-husband, Frank Spencer, who was shot with a rifle and revolver at close range at his home.


Frank Spencer


. In addition, Franklin is accused of breaking into his former son-in-law in home in 2009. Documents were stolen and provided to his daughter, who at that time was in divorce proceedings with the victim. A few months later, the victim’s home was set on fire, a fire which destroyed the home.

Franklin is also accused of setting a second fire, seven months later, at the house of the victim’s girlfriend. This residence was in Valley Township, Montour County. It is reported that Franklin absconded in September 2013 from State Parole and a Fugitive Warrant was issued for his arrest.

An arrest warrant charging Franklin and his daughter with Murder, Criminal Conspiracy, Arson, Terroristic Threats and other crimes was issued back on July 28th. Maria Sanutti-Spencer was taken into custody the same day.

Franklin is being held in a federal prison in Argentina awaiting an extradition hearing.

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