Vernon King, a suspect in 2016 Harrisburg homicide, is arrested by US Marshals in Philadelphia

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Vernon King

HARRISBURG — Vernon King, a suspect in a July 2016 homicide in Harrisburg, was arrested in Philadelphia Friday by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, according to a press release.

King, 27, and another suspect, Kurt D. Tasker, allegedly shot and killed Frank Whitlock on the 1200 block of Hunter Street on July 16, 2016.

King and Tasker are former employees of the Midtown Scholar Book Store, owned by Harrisburg mayor Eric Papenfuse.

Shortly after the 2016 homicide, Papenfuse issued the following statement:

“Kurt Tasker was recently hired by the Midtown Scholar on the recommendation of Vernon King.  We were aware that he had spent time in prison but we were trying to help him turn his life around.  We are deeply shocked and saddened by his alleged involvement in the murder of Frankie Whitlock.  All three men have young children.  My heart breaks for them. 

“I will continue to work as Mayor and as a city employer to do all I can to stop this vicious cycle of violence, which leaves nothing but carnage and grieving families in its wake.”

Tasker is still at large.

According to U.S. Marshal Martin Pane, King was apprehended without incident in Philadelphia.

“Along with our law enforcement partners it’s the Marshals Services duty to ensure those charged with violent crimes have their day in court,” Pane said in the press release. “It is my sincere hope that the victims’ family will find some measure of comfort knowing the suspect in this case will face justice.”

The USMS worked jointly in this investigation with officers from the Harrisburg Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania Board of Probatin and Parole, Dauphin County Probation, Swatara Township Police Department and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and its task force members.

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