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Victim's family speaks out after homicide suspects ID'd

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 29 2013 09:31:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 30 2013 05:15:47 AM CDT

Two suspects have been identified in the homicide of a young man during the Fourth of July.

READING, Pa. -

Two suspects have been identified in the homicide of a young man during a Fourth of July celebration.

Johnnie Nelson, 26, from Reading, and Eric Harding, 23, from Gouglersville, have been charged in connection with the crime, investigators said.

The suspects conspired to kill 26-year-old Darryl Jones of Birdsboro, after a Fourth of July celebration, police said.

The victim leaves behind a girlfriend of 11 years, who is the mother of his three young children.

"It just breaks my heart that my kids have to grow up without their father," said Sierra Pacheco. "He was killed over nothing basically. It was a 4th of July day. No one deserves to get murdered like that."

Pacheco said she had plans to get married to the victim next year.

Loved ones added, the homicide happened on the same day the victim was planning to celebrate his 4-year-old daughter's birthday.

"Sometimes, I don't even know what to tell her," said Pacheco. "What do you tell a 4-year-old child? How do you tell her that she never going to see her father every again?"

Police say the victim left that Fourth of July get-together with the two suspects, and his body was discovered in the early morning hours of July 5.

Police say no one in the area reported hearing gunshots.

"That night there were fireworks going off," said Sgt. John Solecki, Reading Police Dept., "which would have disguised the gunshots. So that's why no one called in the gunshots when they heard them because everyone in the neighborhood just assumed it was more fireworks going off."

The two suspects are already in jail on an unrelated matter, police said.

Authorities are still working to uncover a motive.

Meanwhile family members say they will be waiting for justice.