BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Two Pennsylvania men are behind bars in connection with a homicide case that is believed to have been carried out under the influence of Flakka.
James Heimbach, 30, and Charles Yocum, 32, both of the Bethlehem area are accused of killing Joseph Goda, 28, this month after investigators found the man’s bloodied and bitten body in the trunk of a vehicle.
According to WFMZ-TV and the Pocono Record, the discovery began when Heimbach’s landlord went to his apartment to speak to him about renewing his lease. When he did not answer, the landlord opened the door and found the dwelling splattered with blood.
The landlord then called police, who not only found a “substantial” amount of blood, but also evidence of drug use. They set out to find Heimbach, and were told by his mother that he was being treated at an area hospital.
Police discovered that Heimbach had been arrested by other officers who found him delusional and shouting in the streets in his underwear. He had been taken into custody for public intoxication and transported to the Pocono Medical Center for treatment.
Upon interviewing Heimbach, police were told that the three snorted Flakka after Goda brought it to Heimbach’s apartment. Heimbach said that Goda began attacking him during the visit, punching him and biting his hands. Police noted that Heimbach did indeed have scratches on his arms, bite marks on his hands, and bruises on his face.
But Heimbach said that he did not remember what happened after that time. Yocum, who was found running through the woods, told police that he saw Heimbach strike Goda in the head with a shotgun, roll his body into a carpet and place it in the trunk of a car.
He said that the intention was to dump Goda’s body in the ocean.
When police found the vehicle, which belonged to Yocum’s mother, they discovered Goda’s body in the trunk. He had bite marks on his face and arms.
Heimbach is now charged with criminal homicide and is incarcerated without bail. Yocum has been charged with abuse of a corpse, obstructing police and tampering with evidence. He is being held on $200,000 bail.
“This is the first [flakka] case I know of here and, already, it’s connected to a homicide,” Bethlehem police Chief Mark DiLuzio told reporters. “It’s a truly terrifying drug that seems to turn users into zombies. They can’t feel pain. Their behavior is off the charts.”
As previously reported, two other violent crimes were recently in headlines that were believed to have been committed under the influence of psychedelic drugs.
Nico Gallo, 19, of Florida was allegedly high on Dibutylone when he “cannon-balled” through the plate glass window of a Stuart home in the middle of the night last Sunday and began attacking an adult woman and her son.
While the woman beat him numerous times with an aluminum baseball bat, and her son was able to wrestle the teen on the floor until help arrived, police described Gallo as a person of “extreme strength and a high tolerance to pain.”
“[Being hit with a bat] did not seem to affect him at all,” Sheriff William Snyder told reporters.
Weeks prior, Austin Harrouff, also 19 and of Florida, displayed super-human strength as he attacked a random couple at their home and killed them. As previously reported, Snyder had explained in the case that Harrouff was “growling and grunting” and “making animal noises” when he was found biting the flesh off the face of 59-year-old John Joseph Stevens III.
“Somebody not feeling pain, not responding to a dog bite, repeated stuns from a taser, taking three to four deputies and officer dog to get him off—that’s somebody with a lot more strength than you would normally encounter,” Snyder told CBS12.
Harrouff remains hospitalized, and officials are seeking to determine whether he was under the influence of Flakka or other drugs when the attack occurred.