Bethlehem Police are investigating a second murder in a little over a month, after receiving a call around 11:20 a.m. Monday morning.
Peter Porco, 52, was found dead in his home at 36 Brockley Drive in Delmar by a male coworker after failing to report for work Monday. His wife, Joan, 54, was located in a bedroom upstairs from Peter Porco with multiple injuries to her body, Lt. Thomas Heffernan, Jr. said.
Heffernan wouldn’t disclose the hospital Joan Porco was taken to or her condition Monday afternoon. He characterized Peter Porco’s injuries as blunt trauma to the head. Joan Porco, Heffernan said, had multiple injuries.
`It would appear that she was beaten,` Heffernan said.
Heffernan wouldn’t confirm reports that the weapon used was an ax. He also wouldn’t say whether a weapon was found.
The couple, last seen alive sometime Sunday afternoon, has two college-age sons, John and Chris, whom Heffernan said were `persons of interest` in the investigation, though he declined to characterize the incident as domestic.
`We’re looking for several people to interview,` Heffernan said. `We are looking to interview both sons.`
Police were looking for a yellow jeep in connection with the investigation. Heffernan said that anyone who sees a yellow jeep should call the Bethlehem Police Department.
The two-floor, raised ranch home has had a history of recent burglaries, Heffernan said, including at least one that happened earlier this year.
`It’s too early to tell if anything was taken,` Heffernan said.
Squad cars blocked off the entrance to Brockley Drive from Delaware Avenue, across from Bethlehem Central High School, and where the suburban neighborhood street intersects with Grantwood Drive Monday afternoon.
Yellow caution tape surrounded the house as more squad cars sat parked, grill lights flashing, in front the house and across the street.
Late Monday afternoon, reporters and news cameras stood across the street, fixated on the entranceway porch to 36 Brockley Drive, a square concrete ledge with an overhang, as police shuffled in and out of the house through the front doorway and garage, which stayed open. A forensics truck from the Bethlehem Police Department sat in the driveway as police, some in white clean suits, periodically walked out of the house and looked around the corner. A row of evergreen trees separates the Porco residence from the neighbors’ residence.
Peter Porco served on the Bethlehem Democratic Committee.
Bethlehem’s Democratic Committee Chairman Matt Clyne attended Albany Law School with Peter Porco. The two graduated in 1977.
Ever since, Clyne said, the two knew each other professionally and politically. As a member of the Democratic Committee in Bethlehem, Peter Porco attended all the meetings, though his involvement was somewhat limited because of his position with Appellate Court Justice Anthony V. Cardona, Clyne said.
Clyne said though their relationship was professional he knew him very well.
`It’s strange because Peter was a very mild-mannered individual,` Clyne said. `He’s the last person in the world you would figure would be involved in some sort of a violent act.`
Clyne described Peter Porco as `cheerful, outgoing and low-keyed.`
`He never had a bad word to say about anyone and I never heard a bad word said about him,` Clyne said.
Howard A. Schafer, county legislator for the District, knew Peter Porco first as a court advocate for his son when he was going through the family court system in the late 1980s.
`I know he worked for Judge Cardona and followed him on his way up,` Schafer said.
`He was a very nice individual, very quiet,` Schafer said of Porco. `I knew him through being a committee person, too, and he will be sorely missed.`