By Mark Abrams
MALVERN, Pa., (CBS) — The Chester County District Attorney says the former neighbor and long-time friend of a Malvern man whose body was found Monday inside the home he shared with his grandmother has been charged with first-degree murder.
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan says 23-year-old Merritt Dudas, who grew up next door to 21-year-old Drew Ferguson, is charged with shooting him with a stolen handgun, wrapping his body in a sleeping bag and a tarp and then putting a pile of debris over it to conceal it.
Hogan says the murder occurred last Friday and apparently was sparked by an argument.
“Somebody owed somebody else some property, there was some talk about drugs involved. But, the simple fact of the matter is that somebody brought a gun into what was a verbal argument and changed this into a tragic murder,” Hogan said.
Ferguson’s body was found Monday by detectives. It was inside a second-floor room of a detached garage at the home.
Hogan says it was Ferguson’s mother who contacted police on Monday to report her son missing that sparked the probe.
During the course of their probe, police found Ferguson’s car parked at the Collegeville home of Dudas’ girlfriend where the suspect was staying.
Police interviewed Dudas and found the suspected murder weapon, a .380-caliber handgun, there. The gun had been taken from his girlfriend’s father.