State police and Edwardsville police search the scene where a body was found in a wooded area in Edwardsville on Tuesday.Clark Van Orden photos/The Times Leader
Daniel Baluta of Edwardsville found a body in a wooded area of Edwardsville while walking his dog Tuesday.
EDWARDSVILLE – A man reported missing on April 9 was found dead in a wooded area between Bartels Road and the Mark Plaza on Tuesday morning.
Police Chief David Souchick and state police Trooper Martin Connors identified the man as 25-year-old Richard Joseph Romanoskey, of Plymouth Street, Edwardsville.
Souchick said the man’s mother, Cheryl Romanoskey, reported her son missing on April 9. Court records indicate Romanoskey failed to appear in Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas that day on drug-related charges.
An identification card and the man’s physical description led authorities to positively identify Romanoskey, Souchick said.
“There was identification on him plus the description when he was last seen,” Souchick said.
Connors and Luzerne County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Lisman stressed that the death doesn’t appear suspicious. Toxicology tests will likely be performed in an attempt to determine how Romanoskey died, Coroner John Corcoran said.
Daniel Baluta, of Edwardsville, found the body at about 10:30 a.m. while walking his dog in the remote area. Baluta said he parked near Kmart and began walking on a nearby levee when he strolled into the woods with his dog.
“I smelled something, and I thought it was maybe a deer carcass or something like that, and as I was looking over the bank, I saw a body there,” Baluta said. “I sometimes take my dog down there. I haven’t been down there since January because it gets muddy. That area gets flooded at times.”
Baluta said he left and drove home to call police. He returned to Kmart showing police where he found the body.
The area where Romanoskey’s body was found is along Toby Creek, which floods the lowland areas behind the Mark Plaza.
Officer Mike Lehman said a manufacturing plant once was located in the area that was stripped mined decades ago. Straps of metal, broken glass and garbage illegally dumped covered the area.
“There are a lot of ATVs and hikers that use the old railroad bed,” Lehman said.
Baluta said he saw a woman walking two dogs in the woods when he found the body.
Authorities accessed the area about 400 yards from Bartels Road using four-wheel-drive vehicles.