Community Police Public Safety

Couple Identified in U. Saucon Murder-Suicide That Followed Shooting, Standoff

The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office has identified a couple found dead Saturday in what District Attorney Jim Martin has labeled a murder-suicide.

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The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office has identified a couple found dead Saturday in what District Attorney Jim Martin has labeled a murder-suicide.

Emily Anne Fatzinger, 25, of Greentown, Pike County, and Eric Ryan Messick, 33, of Walnutport, have been identified as the couple found dead Saturday in what Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin called a “murder-suicide” in Upper Saucon Township.

The shocking double death was apparently the dramatic ending to an incident that began with shots being fired at an officer who attempted to stop the couple for outstanding warrants near Wedgewood Golf Course, and culminated in a tense standoff that locked down parts of Upper Saucon Township in the areas of Lanark Road, West Hopewell Road and Limeport Pike for hours Saturday, terrifying residents of the normally quiet area, at least one of whom was confronted by the pair as they sought a vehicle in which to escape, according to the Morning Call.

The Morning Call reported Sunday that Emily Anne Fatzinger, 25, of Greentown, Pike County, and Eric Ryan Messick, 33, of Walnutport, were both pronounced dead by Lehigh County deputy coroners at 4146 Lanark Road at 10:02 p.m. Saturday. Their cause of death will be determined Monday when autopsies are performed.

Online information indicates the two have a long history of run-ins with the law.

Fatzinger was formerly a resident of Palmerton, Carbon County, and was the mother of a child whose abduction by her father in December 2013 resulted in a statewide Amber Alert being issued.

The child was ultimately found safe.

In February 2014, Fatzinger was sentenced to six to 23 months in county jail after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to operate a meth lab, the Lehighton Times-News reported at the time.

The charge stemmed from an incident in which Fatzinger and another person were found in possession of materials used to manufacture methamphetamine during a traffic stop in which they were passengers at Rt. 512 and Jaindl Boulevard in Hanover Township, Northampton County, in late 2013, the newspaper reported.

A Facebook profile photo of Eric Ryan Messick, 33, who was found dead Saturday in what police are calling a murder-suicide in Upper Saucon Township. In a public post on his Facebook page dated June 16, 2010, Messick wrote, “The more u do the more they want from u. I Got to do more counseling they said.”

The Times-News reported in April that Messick was wanted for allegedly stealing a vehicle following a traffic stop on Rt. 390 in rural Barrett Township, Monroe County.

In that case, authorities said Fatzinger was allegedly driving the vehicle while under the influence of drugs, and that after being stopped and removed from the car on suspicion of DUI, Messick moved over to the driver’s seat and took off, later abandoning it.

According to online court records, Messick had been charged by Pocono Mountain Regional Police with Theft by Unlawful Taking-Movable Property (Felony 3), Fleeing or Attempting to Elude an Officer (Felony 3) and two misdemeanors as a result of that alleged incident, and was still awaiting a preliminary hearing on the charges.

Fatzinger had a preliminary hearing in her DUI case scheduled for July 6. Court records indicate that hearing is now cancelled.

A search of court records across an area that includes Monroe, Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties indicates that Fatzinger and Messick have both faced numerous charges in recent years resulting in at least several convictions.

Messick, for example, who was then 19 and living in Slatington, according to records, pleaded guilty to felony burglary and was sentenced to 12 to 60 months in state prison and ordered to pay court costs in a Lehigh County case in 2003.

Fatzinger pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children in Carbon County Court in January 2014 and was sentenced to one year of probation as well as ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program within 60 days of her sentencing.

In a picture of the two publicly posted on Facebook May 22, a woman named Tiffany Jennings of Orefield said Fatzinger and Messick “are the two responsible for the break-ins at my in-laws house,” and asked anyone who had seen them to call police.

Whether they were wanted by authorities for that burglary is unclear.

Stay with Saucon Source and follow us on Facebook for additional developments in this story.

A press conference by DA Martin, at which more information about what happened Saturday will be released, is expected to be held Monday.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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