Matthew Branning, a resident of Sellersville, went missing after leaving work in October 2021.
SELLERSVILLE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A man who has been missing for more than a year was murdered, investigators say, and his co-worker has been charged with the killing.
Michael Stark, a 49-year-old resident of Royersford, Pa., has been charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, robbery and related offenses for the death of 50-year-old Matthew Branning.
Branning, a resident of Sellersville, Pa., went missing after leaving his workplace in Silverdale on October 15, 2021.
The Bucks County District Attorney's Office said Friday that Stark failed to show up to work on the day Branning went missing.
Investigators say Stark waited for Branning in the parking lot, then kidnapped Branning as he left the workplace.
Surveillance video allegedly showed Branning withdrawing money from a drive-thru ATM in Sellersville shortly after 4 p.m.
No one was in the passenger seat, the D.A.'s office said, but investigators say a person was partially visible in the back seat of Branning's 2002 Lexus SUV.
The D.A.'s office said Branning's vehicle was tracked through central and southern New Jersey using toll and cell phone data. Branning's bank account was used in Somers Point shortly after 7 p.m.
The vehicle was then tracked to a Wawa in Cape May County, and Stark is seen on surveillance video making a purchase around 9:30 p.m., the D.A.'s office said. Branning was not seen in that video.
Stark's cell phone was then tracked to the so-called "Needle Park" section of Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood.
Investigators say Stark killed Branning at some point during his travels and disposed of the body. Branning's body has not been recovered.
In December 2021, the D.A.'s office said Branning's vehicle was found in Falls Church, Virginia. Investigators say crack vials, linked to the drug market in "Needle Park," were found inside.
Branning was not a drug user, the D.A.'s office said. He was described as a loyal family man and an outdoorsman with a healthy lifestyle who loved to hike.
Investigators say Branning carried large sums of cash and primarily paid for things with cash or personal checks.
Stark was arrested in Wayne County, Michigan in April 2022 for a warrant out of Monroe County, Pennsylvania. He was extradited back to Pennsylvania in July 2022.
He was charged with the murder on Thursday and is being held without bail.