Husband charged in death of wife
Police have charged a North Catasauqua man in the death of his wife Dec. 9, but further investigation suggests she may have died days before.
According to a news release from Pennsylvania State Police, North Catasauqua Police Department was called to 1017 Fifth St., North Catasauqua, in the early-morning hours of Dec. 9 for a report of a cardiac arrest emergency. There, officers found Holly Cernobyl, 47, at the bottom of the basement stairs with what appeared to be a blow to the head.
North Catasauqua police turned the investigation over to Pennsylvania State Police and called in Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli and Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek.
Holly Cernobyl was pronounced dead at the scene, Lysek said, adding her death had occurred approximately 12:10 p.m. Dec. 6.
Lysek ruled the manner of death as a homicide. He said the cause of her death was strangulation and blunt force trauma.
Kenneth Cernobyl, 49, Holly’s husband, was taken into custody. According to Morganelli, he will be charged with criminal homicide.
According to neighbors, Holly Cernobyl was well-liked. They said they were shocked at the manner of her death.
Neighbors reported several domestic police calls to the house in the past few months. Holly Cernobyl’s mother, Margaret Banko, indicated the pair was having financial difficulties.
A search of public records showed Bank of America had repossessed the couple’s home in early July. The couple had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2012, according to federal court records.
Holly Cernobyl’s 48th birthday would have been Dec. 15, according to her mother.
(See obituary on page A4.)