By Jay Meisel
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - A Pottsville, Pa., man charged with abusing a corpse was arrested by the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office as a fugitive last week in St. Lucie County.
Joseph P. Pinnelle, 61, had apparently fled Pennsylvania to Jensen Beach after being charged following the June 6, 2011, death of his girlfriend, Ruth Ann Golden, 45.
The Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa., reported Ms. Golden arrived at Mr. Pinnelle's residence and started fighting with him.
The newspaper report quoted authorities as saying that during the fight, Ms. Golden bit Mr. Pinnelle's hands, left forearm and the left side of his stomach.
Authorities told the newspaper Mr. Pinnelle acted in self-defense and would not be charged directly in relation to the death.
However, authorities also told the newspaper Mr. Pinnelle failed to notify anyone that Ms. Golden's body was in the apartment and that her corpse stayed there for two days before being discovered.
That justified a charge of abuse of a corpse, the Republican-Herald reported.
The newspaper article did not state how Mr. Pinnelle killed Ms. Golden, but said the autopsy showed she died from lack of oxygen.
The autopsy also said obesity, intoxication and other factors contributed to her death, the newspaper reported.