Sources: Montco cop killer was prime suspect in woman's disappearance

This photo shows fallen Plymouth Twp. Police Officer Bradley Fox with his K-9 partner, Nick.
September 14, 2012 1:59:43 PM PDT
The Montgomery County district attorney said the man who killed Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox also killed himself.

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That man has been identified as 44-year-old Andrew Charles Thomas.

Sources told Action News that Thomas was the prime suspect in the disappearance of Maria Procopio, who vanished in 1999 after leaving her job at QVC in West Chester back in 1999.

Thomas was Procopio's fiancee.

Officer Fox, 34, succumbed to his injures after being shot in the head responding to a hit-and-run crash on Thursday evening, D.A. Risa Vetri Ferman said.

It all began around 5:16 p.m. when officers from the Plymouth Township Police Department were investigating a three-car crash at1215 East Ridge Pike in the Conshohocken section of Plymouth Township.

At 5:42 PM, while conducting traffic control at the accident scene, Ferman said the officers saw a silver, 2006 Infiniti SUV speeding past stopped traffic in the wrong lane.

Investigators say Thomas had stolen that SUV and was the driver at the time.

Officer Fox, and backup, began to follow the SUV from Ridge Pike onto southbound Conshohocken Road, Ferman said. While traveling on Conshohocken Road, the Infiniti struck a white Chrysler 300 Sedan and fled the scene.

Ferman went on to say that, upon arrival at the location of the hit and run, officers were informed by another motorist that the striking vehicle drove onto Ernest Station Road.

Officer Fox followed the path of the striking vehicle, Ferman said, and found it abandoned on Ernest Station Road. Within minutes, Officer Fox and his K-9 partner Nick began a foot pursuit and radioed for backup. Officer Fox and his K-9 partner pursued the suspect into an industrial area alongside the Schuylkill River Trail.

According to the D.A., at some point after that, Thomas ambushed Officer Fox and his K-9 by firing four shots from a hidden, elevated position.

Responding officers found the body of Officer Fox on the grass between the Schuylkill River trail and the train tracks above the trail, with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

Multiple officers began a search and soon found Thomas dead with two gunshot wounds to the chest. His death was ruled a suicide.

Officer Fox's K-9 partner Nick suffered a graze bullet wound and is receiving veterinary care.

Ferman said that, at the time of the incident, Thomas was on probation in Montgomery County after pleading guilty to a forgery charge?in May.

Fox, a 7-year veteran of the force, graduated from the Philadelphia K-9 Unit in March.

Prior to joining the police force, Fox served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine.

"When he volunteered to go back to the second one, he didn't even tell his family he volunteered. He was that kind of a man. He wanted to protect them," Ferman said.

"Brad Fox is a hero as is every man or woman that puts any uniform on," said Plymouth Township Police Chief Joseph Lawrence said.

Fox's death marked the first time a Plymouth Township police officer was killed in the line of duty.

"I think we all are in shock," Ferman said.

Fox leaves behind a wife, who is 3-months pregnant, and a young girl.

Ferman said this was a day that all of law enforcement wish they never have to experience.

"There are just no words that begin to express the magnitude of this tragedy for Officer Fox's family, for his wife, for his beautiful little girl, for his law enforcement family, the Plymouth Police Department, and the entire Montgomery County law enforcement family and community," Ferman said.

Fox was to turn 35 years old Friday.

Meanwhile, a fund has been set up for Brad Fox's family. Donations can be made to :

Fox Children's Fund
C/O Continental Bank
661 W. Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462


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