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A Woman Allegedly Was Beat Up By Her Ex-Boyfriend. So, the Ex’s Cousin Shot Him to Death and Burned the Body.

burnt body
Source: Bedford County Prison; UNSPLASH

Aug. 21 2023, Published 11:26 a.m. ET

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A man in Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting his cousin, tossing his body into a pit and setting it on fire, authorities said.

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On Aug. 17, Derek Louk, 30, agreed to a plea deal in Bedford County in connection with the death of his cousin, Tyler Matthai, last year.

He also pleaded guilty to abuse of a corpse, WJAC-TV reported.

On May 11, Pennsylvania State Police received an anonymous tip about the possible murder of 26-year-old Matthai on April 26 in Cumberland Valley Township, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by the Altoona Mirror.

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Troopers said the tipster claimed Louk struck Matthai for attacking a woman, later determined to be Matthai’s girlfriend Courtney Boden, and “they had burned his body.”

After receiving the information, Investigators learned Matthai had not been seen alive for weeks.

During questioning, a family member told detectives the woman claimed Louk warned Matthai to not hit the woman again and when he did, the woman said, Louk shot his cousin.

The woman allegedly claimed Matthai was on drugs when he abused her and after getting shot in the upper arm he did more drugs and then overdosed, the affidavit states.

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According to the family member, the affidavit states, the woman allegedly said there was “nothing left of the body” and bleach was used to clean up the residence where Matthai was killed.

Police executed a search warrant on Louk’s property just after midnight on May 14 and took him into custody for questioning.

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Louk allegedly told detectives on the day of the incident that Matthai broke into his home, grabbed the woman and forced her into a car so Louk got an AR-15 rifle and shot his cousin in the arm and again in the back.

After the shooting, Louk allegedly told police he placed Matthai’s body in a pit, put tires and kerosene on top of it and then lit everything on fire.

Louk’s friend, Jordon Robertson, allegedly helped him move the body into the hole, according to the Bedford Gazette.

When the blaze burned out after around six hours, Louk allegedly said he covered the hole with dirt.

Boden and Robertson have already pleaded guilty; Boden was sentenced to two years and three months up to 12 years in prison, while Robertson is still awaiting a court decision on his sentencing.

Louk could be sentenced between 15 and 30 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 22, officials said.

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