State police in Indiana County say seven adults and one juvenile are facing charges of kidnapping and/or conspiracy in connection to the disappearance of 19-year-old Hayden Garreffa, who police say was found dead over the weekend in Brush Valley Township.
Troopers say Garreffa was reported missing last Thursday, Oct. 20, from a residence in East Wheatfield Township, and his body was found early Saturday morning in a remote, wooded area. Garreffa, who had previously lived in Ebensburg, was living with his grandmother at the time of his death in Indiana County.
Following an autopsy Monday, authorities ruled his death a homicide and announced charges against eight individuals following their initial investigation.
21-year-old Isaac Buchkoski (of Johnstown)
18-year-old Summer Settlemyer (of Johnstown)
21-year-old Desean Alvarez (of Hammond, Indiana)
18-year-old Mia Catalfano (of Beaverdale)
18-year-old Taylyn Edwards (of Johnstown)
20-year-old Thomas Rivera (of Johnstown)
18-year-old Jesse Wadsworth (of Johnstown)
And an unnamed 14-year-old female (of Johnstown)
According to a criminal affidavit, investigators say Garreffa was reportedly “lured” out of a relative’s home in Dilltown, by Buchkoski, on the day of his disappearance, following an argument that the two had engaged in earlier in the day.
Investigators say, according to a witness, Garreffa was prompted into a red van, around 2 p.m., on the day of his disappearance and authorities noted in a press conference Tuesday that the Indiana County Coroner’s Office determined that he had died at approximately 2:30 p.m. that same day.
Police say, according to the witness, Buchkoski reportedly made the statement, “You won’t have to worry about him again, because he will be dead before the end of the day,” as Garreffa left the residence.
Troopers say the witness then contacted Garreffa’s grandmother, whom he allegedly resides with in Cambria County, who then contacted state police.
Authorities say investigators were told that Garreffa has autism and would never leave without his phone or medication.
Upon further investigation, police say Buchkoski and his girlfriend, identified as Settlemyer, had reportedly harbored “ill will” towards Garreffa for an unspecified prior incident.
Troopers say all eight individuals conspired to “abduct and assault” Garreffa.
Authorities also noted in Tuesday’s press conference that additional homicide-related charges will be announced at a later time as police continue to conduct their investigation.