A Pennsylvania man was arrested Tuesday night and charged with murder after his father’s body was found beheaded inside a home in Middletown Township.
Police say that 32-year-old Justin Mohn posted a YouTube video holding his father’s decapitated head and calling for violence against government officials. Mohn was arrested hours after the killing and charged early Wednesday with first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and possession of an instrument of crime.
Officers were dispatched at around 7 p.m. to a call about a deceased male in a home on the 100 block of Upper Orchard Drive, in the Levittown section of the township, according to the Middletown Township Police Department. The call was placed by the victim’s wife.
Patrol officers arrived on the scene and immediately began a homicide investigation upon discovering the decapitated body of an elderly man in a first-floor bathroom. A machete and a large knife were located in the bathtub, police said.
The victim’s head was found inside a plastic bag, which was placed inside a cooking pot located in a first-floor bedroom next to the bathroom. Bloody rubber gloves were also found in the first-floor bedroom and more bloody gloves in a trashcan next to a desk in that room, the department said.
Police later identified the victim as Michael F. Mohn. He lived at the home with his wife and his adult son, Justin Mohn, who was missing from the home when police arrived and became the prime suspect, the department said.
Michael Mohn was a federal employee — an engineer with the geoenvironmental section of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District.
The victim’s wife informed investigators that she had last been at the home at approximately 2 p.m. on Tuesday and that her husband and son were the only ones there. She also said that her husband’s white 2009 Toyota Corolla and her son were gone when she came home, according to police.
Police then received information about a 14-minute YouTube video that showed Justin Mohn wearing the same style of rubber gloves found at the crime scene. In the video, Mohn picked up the decapitated head of his father and identified him by name as his father. He also made conspiratorial and anti-government statements and called his father a traitor to the country.
Police began to search for the suspect after they determined he had left home and taken his father’s vehicle, authorities said.
Mohn was apprehended two hours away at the Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard training facility in Lebanon County.
He was arrested and charged with murder of the first degree, abuse of a corpse and possession of an instrument of crime with intent, according to a court docket released Wednesday.
Mohn is currently incarcerated at the Bucks County Correctional Facility.
“There is no longer any threat to the community, however this is an active and ongoing investigation,” the Middletown Township Police Department said in a news release.
Multiple agencies participated in the search, including the Bucks County District Attorney’s office, the Bucks County Detectives, Fort Indiantown Gap Police and the Pennsylvania State Police.
“We want to offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victim. We will work hard to ensure the accused answers for these heinous crimes,” the Middletown Township Police Department added.
Mohn embraced violent anti-government rhetoric in writings he published online going back several years, the Associated Press reported. In August 2020, Mohn published an online “pamphlet” in which he tried to make the case that people born in or after 1991 — his birth year — should carry out what he termed a “bloody revolution.” He also complained at length about a lawsuit that he lost and encouraged assassinations of family members and public officials.
In the YouTube video posted after the killing, Mohn described his father as a 20-year federal employee. He appeared to read from a recorded script as he espoused a variety of conspiracy theories and rants about the U.S. government.
The video has since been removed for violating YouTube’s policies on graphic violence, though it remained online for about five hours after it was posted, police said.
Middletown Police Capt. Pete Feeney spoke to FOX 29 about the video, sharing that this kind of horrific crime is rarely seen in the area and that the home was not known to police.
“No, not familiar to us at all. I mean, we have a few incidents in our record system that we’ve come out here for various, you know, minor things … and nothing of a violent nature, nothing, you know, that indicated anything like this,” Feeney said.
Neighbors told the Associated Press that Justin Mohn went on regular walks in the neighborhood and was recognized for his odd behavior.
Bart DeHaven said he had called police at least four times since the summer after Mohn sat on a raised manhole cover in a park directly across the street from his home and stared at his house.
“It’s just sad,” DeHaven told the Associated Press on Wednesday. “He should have got some kind of help.”
Carrie McCarthy said she saw him walking frequently and sitting in a wooded area nearby. She said was shocked when someone sent her the YouTube video.
“I screamed. I totally screamed,” she said. “I opened the video and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s the guy I see every day, and I knew something was unhinged with him.’”
Mohn has been involved in several lawsuits, court records obtained by the Associated Press show. Some of the records were not independently verified by Fox News Digital.
While living in Colorado in 2017, Mohn threatened to sue a Colorado Springs credit union where he once worked for $10 million unless it agreed to a $2 million settlement, the Associated Press reported. He also allegedly threatened to publish false statements about the employees or come to the credit union and make false statements to provoke police to attack the employees and then film it.
The case was resolved in a settlement where the employees paid Mohn $10,000, and he promised not to contact them, the report said.
In 2018, Mohn sued Progressive Insurance, alleging sex discrimination after he was fired from a job at an agency in Colorado Springs. A federal judge said Mohn provided no evidence to support his allegations of discrimination. Progressive said it fired him because he kicked open a door at the office and did not abide by the employee code of conduct. Mohn appealed the case and lost.
In three other lawsuits, Mohn sued the federal government over his student loans, the New York Post reported. In one, he claimed the government “negligently and fraudulently” pushed him to take out student loans between 2010 and 2014 to pay for his education at Penn State University, court records show.
He claimed he was unable to find work to pay off his loans due to employers’ “perception of him as an overeducated, white male, which led to affirmative action against him whilst providing no benefits,” according to one filing.
When a judge tossed the lawsuit, Mohn claimed the judge had a personal bias against him and conflicting personal financial interests.
Deputy District Attorney Ashley C. Towhey and Assistant District Attorney Christine Sassane have been assigned to prosecute the case.
Police said a formal press conference from the District Attorney’s Office will be held on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, at the Justice Center in Doylestown at around 1 p.m.