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Reading residents upset about string of recent homicides

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 26 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 26 2013 10:48:32 PM CDT

Reading residents upset about string of recent homicides

A string of homicides in the city of Reading has authorities and residents on alert.

In less than a month, there have been three homicides, and as of Friday night, before the posting of this story, authorities were are also investigating a suspicious death.

The madness has some people in Reading concerned.

"You walk down any street, and there's some crime. You go around the corner, another crime," said Ana Victoria Pereira, neighbor.

The first homicide this month happened on July 4th.

But due to all the celebration in the city, police say the gunshots that killed 26-year-old Darryl Jones may have been confused with fireworks.

Jones' body wasn't discovered until the next day in an alley in the 1100 block of Birch Street in Reading.

The second homicide was on July 8th, in the 800 block of Elm Street, taking the life of Clifford McFarlane, investigators said.

McFarlane was gunned down after he and his son left Gargoyle Lounge on N. 8th Street.

Then Wilberto Rojas, just 15 years old, had his neck slashed in broad daylight, a week ago, at the corner of Church and Douglass streets.

The alleged killer, according to police, is Jose Espinoza Díaz, who is currently on the run.
"We have investigators and officers working on each of these homicides and hopefully they will be making some real progress," said Chief Bill Heim, Reading Police Department.

Then, on Wednesday, in the 300 block of Penn Street, police investigated a suspicious death.

It has not been revealed whether that death is a homicide.

The Berks County Coroner's Office has referred all questions on this death to the Reading Police Department, which as been tight-lipped during the investigation.

Anyone with information about these homicides is asked to call Crime Alert: Berks County immediately.

The number is 877-373-9913.

Anonymous calls are accepted, and you could earn up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.