By Matt Petrillo


PALMER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — A Northampton County woman known for her volunteerism was shot dead in her own home, but police think they know who the killer is and a manhunt is underway. Investigators believe the woman’s 80-year-old husband shot and killed her.

Police also say it happened inside the couple’s Palmer Township home near Easton several days ago, but her body wasn’t discovered until Sunday.

Authorities in Northampton County are searching for Edgar Himel. He’s suspected of killing his wife, 66-year-old Penny VanTassel-Himel, inside their home on Old Orchard Road.

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Her body was only discovered Sunday after she missed church at Shilo Baptist. Officers went to her home to look for her when they found her body. She was shot multiple times in her head.

“More than one gunshot wound, that person must be very volatile,” Easton Mayor Sal Panto said.

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On Monday, Panto told Eyewitness News VanTassel was known in the area for her volunteerism. The mayor even shared a photo of himself with VanTassel on social media, saying she got to know her over the years because she was involved with several organizations, like her church and Meals on Wheels, before she was killed.

“It’s very tragic. I heard it, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think it was the same Penny until I saw photographs,” Panto said.

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Police suspect VanTassel’s husband as her killer, but he took off in her dark green 2019 Nissan Rogue several days ago and hasn’t been seen since.

Credit: CBS3

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Now, many hope VanTassel’s legacy will live on through her years of volunteer service.

“It’s so sad. She was a great lady, she didn’t deserve it,” Panto said.