Columbia man charged in connection to overdose death of Middletown woman

DAUPHIN COUNTY — A 32-year-old Lancaster County man is being charged in connection to the overdose death of a Middletown woman last week, police say.

Joseph A. Tozer, of the 600 block of Charelle Drive, Columbia, is charged with murder by delivery of drugs, delivery of a controlled substance, and criminal use of a communication facility, according to Middletown Police. He is accused of providing the drugs used by Carla Nelson, 47, of Middletown, who died of a drug overdose om March 14.

Police say a forensic examination of the victim’s cell phone led to the discovery of a series of text messages between her and a contact listed as “Joe,” which were suspected to be arrangements for drug transactions. The last series of messages, dated March 13, arranged for a $140 sale of a suspected controlled substance at a Marietta convenience store, according to police.

The victim’s boyfriend told police he did not know “Joe’s” last name, but did know how to get to his house, according to the criminal complaint. He took police to a home in Columbia and identified a vehicle parked outside as the one “Joe” drives, police say.

West Hempfield Township Police confirmed the vehicle was registered to Tozer, investigators say.

Investigators also viewed surveillance footage taken from the convenience store where the victim and Tozer met to complete the drug transaction, according to police. The footage showed the victim’s vehicle in the parking lot, where it was met by the same vehicle that was parked outside Tozer’s home, a silver Suzuki four-door sedan.

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