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DA announces arrest for murder of Old Forge businessman Robert Baron Sr.

Lackawanna District Attorney Mark Powell announces the arrest of Justin Schuback
Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell announces the arrest of Justin Schuback.

Justin Schuback, 37, of Old Forge, was arrested on Friday for the murder of Robert Baron Sr., a businessman from Old Forge who went missing in 2017.

"We believe it's a burglary gone bad," Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell said at a news conference.

Robert Baron Sr. was reported missing on January 26, 2017 after he failed to show up at his family's business, Ghigiarelli's Restaurant in Old Forge.

After a six-year search, Powell says advances in DNA technology within the FBI's Cellular Analysis Survey Team (CAST) helped to ultimately solve the case. According to the affidavit, the Lackawanna County District Attorney's office very recently obtained cell phone data to pinpoint Schuback's location the night Baron was killed.

Law enforcement agencies then spent two days extensively searching the confined area Schuback's cell phone was that night and found bones that were confirmed to be that of Robert Baron Sr.

Powell says Schuback was a suspect from the beginning. Investigators spoke with him the day Baron Sr. went missing and visited his home two times after that.

“A lot of the information we had against Mr. Schuback was developed in the early stages, but we needed more, " Powell said. "We needed a body, and we needed just a little break.”

Powell says that they do not believe that anyone else was involved in the killing.

The coroner's findings have determined the cause of death to be blunt-forced trauma, although he is awaiting an expert report to confirm those findings.

Following an arraignment, Schuback will be locked up in the Lackawanna County Prison without bail.

Haley joined the WVIA news team in 2023 as a reporter and host. She grew up in Scranton and studied Broadcast Journalism at Marywood University. Haley has experience reporting in Northeast Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. She enjoys reporting on Pennsylvania history and culture, and video storytelling.

You can email Haley at haleyobrien@wvia.org