Missing Reading, Pa. man found dead; case being investigated as a homicide

Javien Perch, 19, was missing for more than a week before his body was discovered on Wednesday evening.

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Friday, April 7, 2023
Missing Reading man found dead; case investigated as homicide
A man who was reported missing last week has been found dead, and police in Reading, Pennsylvania say his death is being investigated as a homicide.

READING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- From the moment police in Reading, Pennsylvania received the report of a missing man, they felt like something could be wrong.

"There was something significant about the information provided to us that made us believe it was suspicious," said Chief Richard Tornielli of the Reading Police Department.

The family of 19-year-old Javien Perch came to police last Thursday to report that he'd been missing for two days. He was last seen on Tuesday, March 28.

In the two days between his disappearance and the report to police, his family collected evidence that helped police investigate the case.

But, on Wednesday night, police made a discovery that the family was hoping wouldn't happen. Police found Perch's body in a wooded area along Oak Lane just near the Reading and Alsace Township Line.

Javien Perch

"It is very unusual," Tornielli said of the case.

Perch's family described him as funny and caring. They said it wasn't like him to just disappear.

"My son always comes home. He always checked in," said Javien Perch's mother Nafisa Azeem, speaking during the time that her son was still missing. Azeem was too distraught to speak with Action News this afternoon.

Family members surrounded her as she cried in grief.

Perch's body was discovered a few miles from where doorbell video shows a man believed to be him walking down the sidewalk. Family members say he'd planned to walk to a friend's house last Tuesday night.

He never made it there.

The family says the last known ping on his cell phone was in the area of Moss Street in Reading. That's where family members found one of his earbuds.

Adding to the mystery: Perch's iCloud password has been changed.

"We have treated it as a homicide case at this point. And we've assigned more investigators to it than we initially had which is a pretty significant amount of resources," said Tornielli.

Police won't say how Perch died or what evidence leads them to believe it's a homicide. But they do say so many things about this case are suspicious.

"To have someone missing for a significant number of days and then turns out that they are deceased somewhere is an unusual occurrence that we see," said Tornielli.

Investigators continue to work the case. Anyone with information is asked to call Reading Police at 610-655-6116. There is also the option of leaving an anonymous tip by calling Crime Alert Berks County's anonymous tip line at 877-373-9913.