Kidnapping & Murder Charges Filed
On October 16, 2021 Perkasie Borough Police received a missing person report from the family of Matthew Branning age 50, of Sellersville PA who was last seen at his place of employment in Silverdale Borough, Bucks County on Friday afternoon October 15, 2021. Detectives from the Perkasie Borough Police Department and the Bucks County District Attorney's Office began an in-depth investigation which continued until March 2, 2023 when with the assistance of the Bucks County Investigating Grand Jury charged Michael Allen Stark age 49, of Royersford with first-degree murder, kidnapping and related offenses for killing Mr. Branning.
This investigation, aided by tips from the public, concluded that Michael Stark kidnapped Matthew Branning at the end of his work shift on Oct. 15, 2021, forced him to withdraw money from a nearby ATM, and then fled into New Jersey in the victim’s vehicle. At some point during the encounter, Stark killed Branning and disposed of his body.
The victim’s body has yet to be recovered.
On Thursday, the Investigating Grand Jury handed down a presentment, recommending Stark be charged with Branning’s murder. The presentment was accepted by Supervising Judge Raymond F. McHugh.
Stark was arraigned Thursday night by Magisterial District Judge Terrence Hughes on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, kidnapping, criminal use of a communication facility, flight to avoid apprehension, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. He is also charged with two counts of robbery and three counts of theft by unlawful taking.
Stark was sent to Bucks County Correctional Facility without bail.
Bucks County New Conference March 3, 2023 11:00 a.m. https://youtu.be/0gRz9eqF41k