Man found beaten to death inside Upper Darby home

An Upper Darby man was found bludgeoned to death inside his home in the township's first homicide of 2014.
February 25, 2014 3:07:57 AM PST
An Upper Darby man was found bludgeoned inside his home Monday, and now police are trying to figure out who killed him and why.

Police tell Action News that 59-year-old Michael Fanning was found beaten to death inside his home on the 7100 block of Ruskin Lane.

The gruesome discovery was made earlier Monday after Fanning, a painter at Haverford College, failed to show up for work over the weekend.

Two concerned co-workers contacted police, asking for them to check in on Fanning. No one answered the door when officers went to the home. So they entered the residence through an unlocked window and found the victim dead in his bed located in an upstairs bedroom.

"In a second floor bedroom, they found him badly bludgeoned to death, he was obviously dead, blood all over the bedroom, he was lying in bed. He had blankets on top of him, but when they took the blankets off, they saw that his pants were down to his ankles," said Supt. Michael Chitwood, Upper Darby Police.

Police say there were no signs of forced entry and they found nothing out of the ordinary missing from the home.

However they learned some information that may be connected to Fanning's murder.

"We also learned that on Friday, which is the last time we can put him alive, he got his paycheck and allegedly had a fairly significant amount of money from his paycheck when he left work," said Supt. Chitwood.

Supt. Chitwood says various drug paraphernalia was found in the home including needles, syringes and empty packets similar to those used to package heroin.

According to police, two tenants who lived in the home with Fanning, remain unaccounted for.

"There were several tenants that lived in that location who we're now trying to locate and our investigation continues. We're doing a full court press on it," said Supt. Chitwood.

Police also say the victim's car, a 2002 silver Grand Marquis with a black vinyl top is missing. It has a Pennsylvania license tag: RIC-TER.

Meanwhile, an autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.

This is the first homicide in Upper Darby this year.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Upper Darby Police at 610-734-7687.


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