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Berks Daily Voice serves Amity Twp, Cumru Twp, Exeter Twp, Maidencreek Twp, Maxatawny Twp, Muhlenberg Twp, Reading, Spring Twp & Wyomissing

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Police & Fire

MontCo Man Charged With Murder, Neglect In Death Of Brother, 52, Who Had Down Syndrome

Harry Garmlich and the home at 250 Edge Hill Road in Abington, where he lived with his siblings.
Harry Garmlich and the home at 250 Edge Hill Road in Abington, where he lived with his siblings. Photo Credit: Montgomery County DA/Google Maps

A 71-year-old Abington man has been charged with third-degree murder and neglect in connection with his 52-year-old brother's death, authorities announced Thursday.

Harry Gramlich had been living at 250 Edge Hill Road with his brother, Timothy Gramlich and their sister,  Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Molloy said.

Officers were called to the brothers' home on Oct. 18, 2020 around 2:30 p.m., where Harry identified himself as his younger brother's sole caretaker, and told police he was dead in a second-floor bedroom.

There, officers found Timothy's 76-pound body on a soiled mattress, wrapped in a single article of clothing, Steele and Molloy said.

"Both the mattress and bedroom floor appeared stained with bodily fluids and feces, and the odor of urine and feces was profound," they said. "The victim’s body was unclean and appeared emaciated."

Harry told police his brother had Down Syndrome and was last seen alive the night before at 8 p.m., when he brought him food, authorities said.

An autopsy report returned Jan. 26 found the cause of death was urosepsis and the manner of death undetermined. 

"The examination suggested Timothy Gramlich had been neglected and had he undergone routine, medical evaluations and care, his death from urosepsis could have been prevented," Steele and Molloy said. 

Other indicators of neglect were the victim’s emaciated body, fixed, flexion contractures of hips and knees with no pathological basis for them, clusters of tiny pressure induced ulcerations of his lower extremities and the poor, soiled conditions Timothy's older brother exposed him to, authorities said.

"The unsanitary conditions and neglect of Timothy Gramlich, a care-dependent person, demonstrated Harry Gramlich’s willful and wanton disregard of an ongoing, unjustified risk that contributed to and resulted in Timothy Gramlich’s death," Steele and Molloy said jointly.

Harry Gramlich was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge James P. Gallagher, who released him on $100,000 unsecured bail. 

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 28, 2021 at 2:15 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Juanita A. Price.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Nicholas Beeson and Gwendolyn Kull.

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