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Altoona 8th Avenue Stabbing

Authorities with the Altoona Police Department say a report of a burglary led to the discovery of a three-day old corpse inside a Blair County apartment on Wednesday and the arrest of an Altoona man.

According to the affidavit, police say officers were called to an apartment building along 8th Ave. after a resident accused her neighbor, 51-year-old Raymond Oechsle Jr., of repeatedly breaking into her apartment and stealing multiple items.

Police say when they arrived at the building and attempted to make contact with Oechsle, authorities say they found that the door to his apartment had been barricaded.

Investigators say officers were able to enter the apartment through another door, where they then discovered the deceased body of Christopher Helsel.

Police noted that earlier in the day, officers had been called to the same apartment building to conduct a welfare check of Helsel after he reportedly failed to show up for work for a few days.

Authorities say officers observed numerous stab wounds to Helsel’s face and body, as well as bloody clothing and evidence that someone had attempted to clean up the crime scene.

Police say the items that had been reported stolen were also found inside Oechsle’s apartment, and police were later able to locate Oechesle and take him into custody.

Authorities say when they questioned Oechsle, he reportedly admitted to killing Helsel with a “folding knife” during an altercation on April 23rd.

Police say Oechsle claimed that he had been sitting outside of his apartment, after being locked out, when Helsel approached him and a physical altercation ensued.

Investigators say Oechsle confessed to stabbing Helsel in both eyes and in his torso, and claimed that he did so out of “self-defense.”

Oechsle allegedly told police that Helsel had “assaulted him” in the past and had “acted tough.”

Police say Oechsle did not recall exactly how many times he stabbed the victim but claimed that he stopped when Helsel stated “don’t kill me bro.”

Authorities say Oechsle also confessed to eventually getting into his own apartment and “dragging” the victim’s body inside, where he attempted to clean up the blood using adult diapers.

“Cold water cleans blood good,” Oechsle stated during questioning.

Police say Oechsle also claimed that since the stabbing, he allegedly had people over to his apartment but claimed that he “kept the lights off and kept his guests away from the living area,” which is where the body was found.

According to online court records, Oechsle was arraigned Thursday morning on charges of first degree murder, aggravated assault, evidence tampering and abuse of a corpse.

He is being held at the Blair County Prison and his bail was denied.

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