On August 11, 2021, at 8:51 am, officers from the Lancaster City Bureau of Police responded to 202 W. Strawberry Street to check on an emotional subject at the residence. The reporting person was concerned for the welfare of family members at the residence, after one of the residents, Donald Meshey Jr., told her that there was a cadaver in one of the beds in the home and there was a head in the freezer. Patrol officers made contact with the reporting person, who advised them that she had just been inside the residence and spoke with Meshey. She told the police that she observed what she believed to be the head of one of her family members, in the freezer. Patrol officers immediately went to 202 W. Strawberry Street Apartment 1 and spoke with a male subject who was later identified as Donald L. Meshey Jr. Meshey escorted the officer inside the residence and took the officer to the kitchen, where he proceeded to remove what appeared to be a human head from the freezer to show the officer. The Lancaster County Coroner's Office later confirmed that the head from the freezer was a human head. The officer immediately called for back-up and secured the scene. Additional officers and detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division responded to the scene and initiated an investigation.
Donald Meshey Jr. came to the Lancaster City Police Station and was interviewed by detectives. During the interview, Meshey said he found what he described as a "cadaver doll" in his father's bedroom, which looked and sounded like his father. Meshey admitted to stabbing the "cadaver doll" for 2-3 minutes with a knife and then dismembered the body. The scene is still active, as investigators process the crime scene and collect evidence. Investigators are working to confirm the identity of the deceased victim. Until that is done, no additional information will be released about the victim. The Lancaster County Coroner's Office and the District Attorney's Office are assisting with the investigation.
Based on the investigation to this point, Donald L. Meshey Jr., was arrested and is being processed at the Lancaster City Police Station. Meshey is 32 years old and resides at 202 W. Strawberry Street Apt. 1, in Lancaster City. Detective Ryan Burgett charged Meshey with Criminal Homicide (F-1), Abuse of a Corpse (M-2) and Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence (M-2) before Magisterial District Judge Witkonis. Meshey is being held for arraignment. The investigation into this incident is on-going and will continue.
Persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent.
Anyone with information related to this incident is urged to call Detective Ryan Burgett with the Lancaster City Police at (717) 735-3412 or Lancaster City-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-1913. You can also click the Submit a Tip button on our website, www.lancasterpolice.com, or Text a Tip to Crime Stoppers by texting LANCS plus your message to 847411. Tipsters may remain anonymous and do not have to give their names.