Man Charged in Case of Philly Woman Found Dead in Central Pa.

Robert Moir has been charged with abuse of corpse and faces up to two years in prison. He says 35-year-old Corinne Pena died in his home of a drug overdose.

Corinne Pena. Photos via Ferguson Township police.

Corinne Pena. Photos via Ferguson Township police.

Now, it appears, we may know what happened to the Philadelphia woman who was found dead some 200 miles from home, on the side of a road in central Pennsylvania on February 14th.

Robert Moir, 59, has been charged with abusing the corpse of Corinne Pena. According to Moir, Pena, 35, died in the bathroom of Moir’s home of a suspected drug overdose the day before her body was located. The charge that Moir faces is a second-degree misdemeanor, which carries a prison sentence of up to two years.

Pena’s body was discovered along the side of Plainfield Rd. near Whitehall Rd. and was “positioned face down partially covered with a red bed sheet,” according to a court affidavit, which also indicated signs of intravenous drug use were observed on her body.

According to the affidavit, Moir told police he met Pena in the Philadelphia area where they spent two nights in a hotel. At her request, he said he took her to the State College area, and they arrived at Moir’s residence on February 12th. The next night, court papers say the two cooked dinner and watched television, after which Moir fell asleep.

It was when he awoke around 11 p.m. that Moir said he found Pena unresponsive in the bathroom. Moir told police that when he saw her body there were no signs of life, and “her face and lips were purple.” He also reported that he noticed a needle and a spoon on the bathroom vanity.

Instead of dialing 911 after forcing his way into the bathroom to discover Pena’s body, Moir told police he wrapped Pena in a sheet and loaded her into his vehicle. Moir acknowledged that he should have called 911 instead of leaving her body on the side of the road, and he also stated that he sent an anonymous letter to the Centre County Coroner in hopes of helping to identify Pena.

Despite his actions, Moir told police that he wanted Pena’s body to be found and that he believed her body would not decompose as a result of the brutal cold. Philadelphia and surrounding counties issued Code Blue warnings that weekend to help keep residents safe from the plunging temperatures.

Centre County District Magistrate Ronald J. Horner presided over Moir’s arraignment on Tuesday.

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Immunity Law states:

“A person may not be charged and shall be immune from prosecution” if the person “reported, in good faith, a drug overdose event to a law enforcement officer…and the report was made on the reasonable belief that another person was in need of immediate medical attention and was necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury due to a drug overdose.”

“This is a tragic case because Ms. Pena was dumped outside like an afterthought after passing away, by someone she thought was a friend. She deserved much better,” said Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller in a statement yesterday. “She was a daughter and a mother herself. It is simply heart wrenching and we hope this arrest brings some peace to her family and friends. We remind the public that this kind of callous behavior is totally unnecessary in light of the overdose immunity law.”

Instead of being protected from prosecution under the law, a preliminary hearing for Moir is scheduled for March 23rd.

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