PALMER, Pa. — A Bethlehem man has been charged with killing a 97-year-old woman and her son and setting the house ablaze in what prosecutors say was a robbery attempt.
Northampton County First Deputy District Attorney Terry Houck said Friday that 37-year-old Derek Rose, of Bethlehem, needed rent money and hatched a plan to rob Virginia Houck, who was in hospice care and bedridden. Rose is the son of Houck’s former caretaker.
Virginia and Roger Houck’s bodies were discovered in the basement after the fire that ravaged the house in January.
The (Allentown) Morning Call reports Rose was ordered held without bail after his arraignment Friday.
Virginia Houck was bound and died of smoke inhalation and burns. Her 61-year-old son was bound at the feet and the coroner says he died of “homicidal violence.”