A 29-year-old man who went with his coworker on a camping trip in rural Pennsylvania was found murdered, and his family is searching for answers while calling his death a “modern-day lynching.”
As News Onyx previously reported, Peter Bernardo Spencer, an immigrant from Jamaica, accepted an invite from a coworker and three other men on Dec. 11 to a cabin in Rockland Township, Pa.
On Dec. 12, Pennsylvania State Police arrived at the cabin around 2:30 a.m. and found Spencer’s body with multiple gunshot wounds on the front lawn.
The Venango County Coroner concluded that the 29-year-old was shot nine times: one to the mouth, two in his buttocks, and six in his abdomen. Police said they found multiple firearms, “ballistic evidence,” and controlled substances at the home, ABC News reported.
Authorities arrested four suspects inside the cabin for questioning and released them after consultation with the Venango County District Attorney’s Office.
Spencer, a Black man, previously resided in Pittsburgh. His family stated that his former coworker and the men invited to the cabin were all white. However, Pennsylvania State Police have not identified the people in the house at the time of Spencer’s death.
“They are trying to sweep this under the rug,” Spencer’s sister, Tehilah, wrote on a GoFundMe page. “We will not let them … He was slaughtered and killed in what I consider an act of modern-day lynching!”
The district attorney’s office refused to comment on the ongoing investigation “out of concern for the impact that may have on a case and any potential charges.”
“Further disclosure of information may hinder or interfere with the investigation moving forward,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement to ABC News. “This office takes seriously any possibility that a crime may be fueled by hatred toward a person because of their race, color, religion or national origin. Rest assured, the Venango County District Attorney’s office will take every measure to ensure that justice is sought wherever it may be found.”
Carmela King, Spencer’s pregnant fiancee, said she hadn’t received any information about his death. “The Franklin state troopers office will not give Peter’s family nor myself any information regarding this incident,” she said. “We have been turned away several times while trying to reach out for information regarding what happened.”
Per the family’s request, Paul Jubas, the family’s lawyer, posted a series of autopsy photos on his social media account. He said the medical examiner’s reports are a “misrepresentation,” stating that Spencer was shot in the chest and abdomen. However, the images indicate he was shot four times in the back.
Spencer’s relatives released a statement demanding that the Venango County coroner immediately turn over all photos and other vital information about the case. They’re also calling for the FBI or the Department of Justice to investigate the 29-year-old’s death. Additionally, the family wants the Venango County district attorney to hand the case over to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the family plans to hire an independent medical examiner and private investigator.
Dr. Cyril Wecht, a well-known pathologist, used graphic images of the wounds to determine Spencer was hit with “long-distance shots.” “It’s like looking at someone who got hunted down, which is absolutely horrifying,” the Dr. said.
After multiple petitions and a GoFundMe, no one has been charged with Spencer’s death.