PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 34-year-old Berks County man is accused of killing a 19-year-old girl earlier this week after she told him “no” when he asked her to marry him.
Christopher Ryan Tucker, 34, of Albany Township, allegedly confessed to the crime when he was arrested in Illinois Wednesday night.
Authorities say Tucker fled Pennsylvania after committing the murder earlier this week. His car broke down in Illinois and authorities say he then attempted to steal a motorized combine from a farm. The farmer was on the property and called authorities.
After being arrested in Illinois, Tucker was reportedly the one who alerted authorities there had been a heinous crime committed at his home in Albany Township, Pennsylvania.
“What our troopers found when they got there was very gruesome,” said Trooper David Beohm, with the Pennsylvania State Police.
Trooper Beohm says 19-year-old Tara Serino, of Lehigh County, was strangled, with her neck snapped, her eyes popped out, and beaten with a hatchet. Tucker admitted to all the details, according to police.
He additionally told authorities why he murdered her.
“He asked her to marry him. When she said no he just snapped,” added Trooper Beohm.
A friend, Chad Flyte, who knew them both, said they had only been dating for five months.
“I’m so sad for this poor girl because she had no idea. The type of past issues that he dealt with,” said Flyte.
Flyte said Tucker had severe mental illness and had recently been in and out of treatment for it.
“I had personally taken him to the hospital many times,” said Flyte. “He’s my friend, he’s my brother, but he did something terrible.”