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2 Schuylkill County men accused of dumping body in Dauphin County park

William Allen Jr. 24, and Kyle Knapp, 19, allegedly left the body of a 23-year-old Schuylkill County man in Millersburg's Seal Park, according to State Police
Credit: Pennsylvania State Police
William Allen Jr. (left) and Kyle Knapp

Two Schuylkill County men have been accused of dumping the body of a man in a Dauphin County park Monday night.

William Douglas Allen Jr., 24, of Pottsville, and Kyle Anthony Knapp, 19, of Shenandoah, are charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence, according to State Police in Lykens.

They are accused of leaving the body of Steven Tyler Middleton, 23, of Girardville, Schuylkill County, who was found unresponsive at about 7 p.m. Monday in Seal Park in the borough of Millersburg, police say.

Middleton was declared dead at the scene by EMS and fire crews, who arrived within minutes of receiving a 911 call placed by Allen, police say.

Allen and Knapp were waiting with Middleton's body when police arrived, according to the criminal complaint affidavit filed by State Police.

Middleton's body was found near a pavilion in the park, police say.

Neither man could tell police how Middleton died, and both provided timelines and details of the events leading up to his death that were inconsistent with the other's account during their initial interviews with investigators, police say.

The investigation into how Middleton died is ongoing, according to police. In the criminal complaint affidavit, police say there were "no clear  signs" of drug use by Middleton, like track marks or residue around the nose.

But Knapp later said in an interview with police that Middleton suffered an apparent overdose while riding in the car with he and Allen. 

An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday to determine the cause and manner of Middleton's death, police say.

Police say they obtained video surveillance from a nearby business to establish that Allen and Knapp drove to Seal Park, removed Middleton from the 2019 Nissan Rogue they arrived in, and placed his body in the park. They then moved the body to a second location, where it was found by arriving officers, according to the complaint.

In a second interview with police, Knapp allegedly told investigators he, Allen, and Middleton had driven from Schuylkill County to Newport, Perry County to drop off a bag of fentanyl to an unnamed person. The transaction never took place, Knapp allegedly told police.

As they drove through Dauphin County on their way home, Knapp said, Middleton allegedly ingested the fentanyl and went unresponsive, according to the complaint. Knapp told police he wanted to call 911, but Allen allegedly refused, the complaint states.

The two men drove to a pharmacy in Halifax Township, Dauphin County and attempted to obtain Narcan, but were unsuccessful, Knapp claimed in the complaint affidavit. They then tried to obtain Narcan from a home in Millersburg, but were unable to, Knapp told police.

It was then that they decided to drive to the park to leave Middleton's body there, Knapp told police. After they removed Middleton from the car, Allen moved the vehicle to another location, Knapp claimed.

After admitting to police in a second interview that he had initially fabricated details leading to Middleton's death, Allen collaborated much of what Knapp told police, according to the complaint. He allegedly said he was hesitant to call 911 because he was scared, and because he believed Middleton would "come out of it."

Allen and Knapp were taken into custody and transported to the Dauphin County Judicial Center for arraignment. 

Allen's bail was set at $100,000, and Knapp's at $50,000, police say.

Both were remanded to Dauphin County Prison, where they await a preliminary hearing.