Photo: Mont Megantic QC Canada via Getty Image
  /  01.29.2022

The family of a Jamaican immigrant is searching for answers after they say he was killed in a “modern-day lynching” during a camping trip. 

On Dec. 11, 29-year-old Peter Bernardo Spencer accepted an invite from a former coworker to visit a cabin in Rockland Township, Venango County, according to his family

At around 2:30 a.m., Pennsylvania State Police were called to the cabin where they found Spencer’s body riddled with gunshot wounds on the front lawn.

The Venango County Coroner concluded that Spencer had been hit by nine bullets: one to the mouth, two in his buttocks and six in his abdomen. Police stated that they found multiple firearms, controlled substances, and “ballistic evidence” at the home. 

Authorities say four suspects were found inside the cabin and they were taken into custody. After questioning, they were released. 

Spencer is Black, and previously resided in Pittsburgh. His former co-worker, and the others invited to the cabin, were all white, Spencer’s family stated. Pennsylvania State police have  not released the names of those individuals, infuriating Spencer’s family. 

“They are trying to sweep this under the rug,” Spencer’s sister, Tehilah, wrote on a GoFundMe page. “We will not let them … He was slaughtered and killed in what I consider an act of modern-day lynching!”

On a separate GoFundMe, Peter’s pregnant fiancée, Carmela King, added: “The Franklin state troopers office will not give Peter’s family nor myself any information regarding this incident. We have been turned away several times while trying to reach out for information regarding what happened.”

In a statement to ABC News, the district attorney’s office said it will not comment on the investigation “out of concern for the impact that may have on a case and any potential charges.”

“Further disclosure of information may hinder or interfere with the investigation moving forward,” the district attorney’s office said. “This office takes seriously any possibility that a crime may be fueled by hatred toward a person because of their race, color, religion or national origin. Rest assured, the Venango County District Attorney’s office will take every measure to ensure that justice is sought wherever it may be found.”

In a separate statement, shared by the family’s lawyer Paul Jubas, Spencer’s relatives demand that the Venango County coroner immediately turn over all photos and other pertinent information

The family also wants the FBI or Department of Justice to get involved in the investigation and provide transparency. And for the Venango County district attorney to hand the case over to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

In the meantime, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Spencer’s family did hire their own private investigator and medical examiner to look into his case

Dr. Cyril Wecht used pictures of the wounds to determine Spencer was hit with “long-distance shots.” “It’s like looking at someone who got hunted down, which is absolutely horrifying,” the Dr. said. 

While the GoFundMe accounts set up for Spencer get closer to reaching their goals, no one has been charged for his mysterious death. 




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