Police have arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a suburban Allentown man, whose body was found early Wednesday in a trailer outside the victim’s auto detailing business.
Tyrell Ronald Young, 27, is accused of shooting and killing Eric Ervin, 41, and stealing a car the victim advertised on Craigslist.
Prosecutors said Young and Ervin met through the classifieds website, where Ervin posted that he was selling a 2003 silver BMW 745 LI series.
After exchanging phone calls and text messages, Young and Ervin reportedly met Tuesday night at Ervin’s business, Aces High Mobile Auto Detailing, on the 600 block of Nelson Street in Allentown.
Police responded to the auto shop around 1 a.m. Wednesday, after Ervin’s girlfriend became worried and filed a missing persons report.
Officers found Ervin’s body inside an enclosed trailer on the property, according to an affidavit of probable cause. He had been shot in the neck.
Investigators said they were initially unable to locate the BMW.
Ervin’s girlfriend told police a man with a 347 area code had expressed interest in buying the car and had made arrangements to see it.
A search of Ervin’s phone records allegedly turned up one such number that had been in repeated contact over a 24-hour period.
Police were able to track the cell phone associated with the number to the 100 block of South Fourth Street in Reading, according to investigators.
There, around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, officers stopped the missing BMW, police said.
Young was allegedly behind the wheel.
Police said an officer performing the vehicle stop saw a handgun in plain view. The firearm’s serial number allegedly matched that of an FN Herstal 5.7-caliber handgun that was reported stolen from Cumru Township in January.
Young is charged with homicide, robbery, illegally possessing a firearm, theft and receiving stolen property. He was jailed without bail Thursday at the Lehigh County Prison.
Young was in 2005 accused of a similar offense in Northampton County. He pleaded guilty to robbery and weapons charges stemming from an incident in which he reportedly held an auto dealership saleswoman at knifepoint, carjacked a sports utility vehicle and led police on a high-speed chase.
Young was sentenced to six to 15 years in prison in connection with that case. He is next due in court April 17 for a preliminary hearing.
Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.