ELLWOOD CITY (KDKA) — A man is behind bars and facing charges after the mother of his young son was found dead inside of her Ellwood City apartment Sunday morning.

Investigators say 20-year-old Joie Lordi was strangled.

She was pronounced dead by the Ellwood City deputy coroner inside of the residence in the 800-block Pershing Street after 11 a.m.

“This is my granddaughter and she didn’t deserve this,” said Lordi’s grandmother. “She really loved her baby immensely and she was a good mother, and her and him had been arguing, fighting for quite a while.”

Lordi’s boyfriend, 23-year-old Keith Wolfrey, is now charged with criminal homicide and abuse of a corpse.

“It’s certainly suspicious; she had been dead for a few hours,” said Chief Mark Romutis, of Ellwood City Police Department. “She was found in her apartment and there was certain circumstances regarding the deceased that made us suspicious.”

The couple’s 6-month-old son was also in the apartment. He was unharmed.

According to police, Wolfrey called 911 Sunday morning and told authorities that he had been at the apartment late Saturday night and was in the process of moving out when the pair allegedly got into an argument. He reportedly told police that the disagreement escalated.

Investigators say Wolfrey reported to police that he believes he passed out and when he awakened Lordi was on the kitchen floor.

Police report that Wolfrey said he went upstairs and later when the couple’s child woke up, he called 911.

Wolfrey was arraigned Sunday and is being held in jail without bond.

An autopsy was completed and her death has been ruled a homicide.

State police, Ellwood City police and the Lawrence County Coroner’s Office are conducting the investigation.

Stay with KDKA for more on this developing story.

Pennsylvania State Police
More News from Lawrence County
More Local News

Watch & Listen LIVE