UNION TOWNSHIP — DNA analysis has confirmed what authorities suspected soon after firefighters responding to a fire in Union Township last month discovered a couple who had been bludgeoned to death in their living room and the burned remains of a third person — believed to the killer — in the detached garage.
The remains were those of Adam Deluca, 45, son of homeowner Joanne Deluca, who was one of the victims, state police announced Wednesday, Dec. 4.
It's clearly a double murder-suicide, Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams said.
An official ruling by the coroner's office on the cause and manner of deaths is pending a report from state police investigators, Coroner Dennis J. Hess said Wednesday.
Trooper David C. Beohm, public information officer of Reading-based Troop L, said investigators were tying up loose ends.
Adam Deluca was positively identified after authorities matched a DNA sample from a sibling, Beohm said.
The bodies of Deluca's mother, Joanne Deluca, 63, and her domestic partner, Ira Reed Jr., 60, were found after firefighters responded to the fire in the detached garage at their residence in the 900 block of Chestnut Street about 5:30 p.m. Nov. 23.
Firefighters fond the bodies of the couple in the living room of their mobile home, investigators said. The remains of the third victim, burned beyond recognition, were found in the nearby garage after firefighters put out the blaze.
Joanne Deluca and Reed shared the home with her son, authorities said.
Investigators previously said autopsies revealed that Joanne Deluca and Reed were bludgeoned to death with a hammer by the then-unidentified person. After killing the couple, that person doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire in the garage.
Investigators repeated Wednesday that they may never know what motivated Adam Deluca to kill his mother and Reed.
Adam Deluca died of smoke inhalation, according to the autopsy.
The fire caused up to $30,000 damage.