Lebanon County prosecutors have scheduled a news conference for Friday morning to discuss what they call a "significant development" in a 13-year-old homicide investigation.
A news release from District Attorney David Arnold said the case is that of Jewel Schirmer.
Schirmer died a day after she suffered a skull fracture and injuries to her head and face after she supposedly fell down a flight of stairs at her North Lebanon Township
home in April 1999.
Her death was ruled a homicide in January following a year-long investigation that began after her husband, Arthur Schirmer, was charged with killing his second wife in the Poconos.
Arthur Schirmer, 64, was the pastor at Bethany United Methodist Church in Lebanon at the time of Jewel's Schirmer's death. He told police he found his wife's body in a pool of blood at the bottom of the parsonage basement stairs, according to court documents in the case.
The death had been ruled "undetermined" for more than a decade, but authorities in 2010 reopened the case after Arthur Schirmer was charged with homicide and tampering with evidence in the 2008 death of his second wife, Betty Jean Schirmer, in Monroe County.
Arthur Schirmer has not been charged to date in the death of Jewel Schirmer.
Mr. Schirmer was serving as pastor of Reeders United Methodist Church in Monroe County when his second wife, Betty Jean Schirmer, died of brain injuries that included multiple skull and facial fractures following a car crash about a mile from their home.
Police said Mr. Schirmer reported that he had swerved to miss a deer and struck a guardrail at 40-45 miles per hour.
Authorities had reopened the crash investigation by the end of 2008 after a suicide in Mr. Schirmer's church office. According to court documents, Schirmer had been having an extra-marital affair with the suicide victim's wife, who was his administrative assistant.
Police said they soon received several complaints about the deaths of Schirmer's wives.
The investigation determined that the crash occurred at a speed of less than 25 miles per hour and could not have caused Betty Jean Schirmer's severe injuries, police said in court papers.
Court records state that there was minimal damage to the guardrail and to the Schirmer's 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser, in which the airbags had not deployed.
Police added in the papers that while Mr. Schirmer appeared to be unhurt, his wife was unconscious, having difficulty breathing, and had bled throughout the inside of the vehicle.
Schirmer said he was driving his wife to a hospital for some type of jaw pain and gave several contradicting accounts as to why she was not wearing a seat belt, including a game she was playing to see how long it would take for the seatbelt warning buzzer to stop, according to court documents.
He also admitted he did not call 911, even though he had a working cell phone, documents state.
Police later served a search warrant at the church parsonage and found Betty Jean Schirmer's blood on the floor of the garage near the top of the stairway, including a large blood stain where the passenger side of the car would have been, according to court papers.
Schirmer is currently awaiting a January trial in Betty Jean Schirmer's death.
He has also served as pastor at United Methodist Middle Creek Church in Weissport and the Marietta Bainbridge United Methodist Church in Marietta.
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