Dead trooper's barracks near scene of Luna's death

PA state trooper found dead at Ephrata barracks
Caught in child porn investigation

Posted February 24, 2005 -- A 21-year veteran trooper of the Pennsylvania State Police was found shot to death in the parking lot of the Ephrata, PA, state police barracks on February 23, 2005. The Ephrata state police barracks is the state police outpost nearest the spot where slain prosecutor Jonathan Luna's body was found in December 2003. The barracks is a few miles away from the scene of Luna's violent murder.

Troopers of the Ephrata barracks initially played a lead role in the botched investigation of Luna's violent death. The local township police department had been pushed out of the Luna investigation by the responding state police officers.

The dead state trooper, 49-year-old Arthur J. Mizzoni, had been caught up in a child porn investigation. Four days before his death, Mizzoni's house had been searched following allegations that the trooper had for years been sexually molesting a teenaged boy.

The eighteen-year-old boy recently reported to authorities that Trooper Mizzoni had been molesting him for at least seven years, authorities say. A picture of a naked boy had also been seen on Trooper Mizzoni's computer by a second witness, according to court documents.

The February 19, 2005 search of Trooper Mizzoni's home resulted in the seizure of "numerous items." said State Police Captain Steven McDaniel in a press conference the day of Mizzoni's death. Court papers identify the confiscated items as including photos of children, pornographic magazines and computer equipment.

Mizzoni spent his entire 21-year-career at the Ephrata barracks. Mizzoni was a key trooper in the small, tightly knit barracks, state police sources say.

Mizzoni's body was discovered in his pickup truck, in the parking lot of the barracks. He apparently had shot himself.

It is not immediately known what role Mizzoni may have played in the increasingly troubled Luna investigation.

It has become increasingly evident that deep, systemic corruption plagues the law enforcement communities of Maryland and Pennsylvania, on both ends of Jonathan Luna's midnight ride.