The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 14, 2012

Meyersdale murder suspect apprehended in the home of a woman with ties to Johnstown

MEYERSDALE — Jonathan Beal, the 23-year-old local man wanted in the murder of a 19-year-old woman, was taken into custody this morning by U.S. Marshals in Marrero, La., a suburb of New Orleans.

Pennsylvania state police said that Beal was arrested at 6:45 a.m. by the U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force along with the Jefferson Parish, La., sheriff’s office.

The suspect was apprehended without incident at a private residence where a female acquaintance lived. The woman reportedly has ties to Johnstown, and it was through those ties that Beal apparently knows her, it was reported.

Beal was found hiding in a bathroom and then processed and detained in Jefferson Parish pending extradition proceedings for his return to Pennsylvania to face charges here. If he decides to fight extradition, his return to Somerset County could be held up for months.

Beal is charged with in the strangulation death of Justine Jackson, who also had been living in the Meyersdale area with a relative. Her body was found in a shallow grave Sunday by a hiker along the Great Allegheny Passage in Larimer Township. She had been reported missing on Oct. 28 after she had not been seen for several weeks.

 Beal is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault and abuse of a corpse in the woman’s slaying.

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