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New details released about Williams Twp. "suspicious death"

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 03 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 05 2012 04:18:57 AM CDT

Williams Township man beaten with hammer, coroner said

WILLIAMS TWP., Pa. -

A man found dead last week in his Northampton Co. home was severely beaten, likely with a hammer, according to court documents released Tuesday. Authorities have still not released a possible motive in the death.

A search warrant application reveals that state troopers discovered Michael Muretta, 47, in the basement of his home on Morgan Hill Road in Williams Twp. on Aug 29.

According to the document, Muretta was lying in a pool of his own blood, surrounded by bloody hand tools.

Muretta's estranged wife Teresa, who now lives in New Jersey, called State Police after Muretta failed to show up for work for several days.

Troopers found him alive, but Muretta was unable to talk. According to court records, troopers also found a cell phone in a nearby laundry hamper, a GPS unit on the kitchen floor, and an open bedroom window.

Other than an overturned chair though, police said there were "no significant signs of a struggle" inside the home.

Authorities have stayed quiet about Muretta's death, but he and his wife were outspoken opponents of the Chrin Brothers Landfill's expansion plans next to their home. 69 News featured the couple in a July 2009 story. A lawsuit over those plans is set for trial next week.

The Lehigh Co. coroner did an autopsy on Muretta's body last week, but final results are not in yet.

According to the search warrant, however, a deputy coroner said Muretta's injuries were circular and consistent with a hammer.