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Police learning more about man found dead in creek in Pennside

Published On: Jun 28 2013 12:42:49 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 28 2013 05:55:53 PM EDT

Police investigating the mysterious case of a man found dead in a creek have put together more pieces of the puzzle.


New details were released Friday surrounding the mysterious case of a man found dead in a creek in Berks County.

Rochelle J. Sweet Jr.'s body was pulled from the water in the Pennside section of Lower Alsace Twp., Berks Co., Thursday evening.

Sweet, 66, lived alone in the 1600 block of Butter Lane in neighboring Exeter Township, said officials.


"I never saw anything like that before in my life," said Tonya Spiers, who was with her 5-year-old son when she made the gruesome discovery.

Spiers checked to see if the creek outside her home was flooding when she looked down and saw Sweet lying lifeless on his back against the cement, as water rushed over his body.

"I thought I was in a movie, actually. I didn't even know what to think at all. I just ran in the house. I was scared," she said.

Spiers' husband didn't believe her, so he went outside to look for himself.

"I was just shocked for something like that to take place. I never thought you'd find a dead guy in your creek," said Troy Spiers.

Police blocked off the area and shut down Carsonia Avenue.

According to investigators, Sweet had a laceration on the back of his head and bruises on his body. On Friday, they believed he may have had a medical issue and possibly fell into the water.

"This gentleman frequents the use of BARTA. He likes to ride BARTA buses, so he's in the area of that bus stop," said Chief Ray Serafin, Central Berks Regional Police Dept.

Police did not suspect foul play, but they were looking at every angle, leaving no stone unturned.

Spiers said her nerves were shot, and that image will never be erased from her head.

"I was telling my family I don't think I'll ever look in that creek again. It's just a little creepy," said Spiers.

An autopsy was set for Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Police said they hope the results will help them fill in the blanks.

Most of Sweet's family is out of state, so the Berks County coroner's office asked any family members who may be local to give them a call.