News reports quote Heath as saying he used a TV cable to strangled the white woman from behind until her face turned black and blue. Heath then drove to Walmart in his victim's Buick where he used cash to buy lighter fluid and a plastic tote. He made additional purchases with his victim's Wells Fargo card.
The fire attracted police, but by the time they arrived the admitted killer had left the scene. Heath headed to North Carolina where his father lives.
From our news source we read:
Trooper Joseph Campbell testified a borough firefighter was raking what he thought was "fire debris" when he saw teeth; after realizing it was a body the firefighter vomited, Campbell said.Continue reading ►
State police were called and Campbell said when he got to the site, the body was "burned and charred. It was about half of a human torso. The legs were missing."
Steigerwalt's body had metal wires wrapped around her neck, and additional wire was under a wooden pole where her legs seemed to be bound, state police previously said.
Troopers also found a plastic grocery bag with the Wal-Mart receipt, Campbell said. Working with the store, troopers learned Steigerwalt credit card was used and surveillance video showed it was a man later identified as Heath, Campbell said.
Troopers went to Steigerwalt's home on Feb. 2 and her husband, Gary Steigerwalt, told them he was about to report her missing since she didn't come home after her Friday work shift, Campbell said.
In a similar event, a white man burned a black prostitute in a backyard fire pit after he found her dead in his bed. [ source ]
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