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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. CHRISTOPHER VAN JORDAN (02/18/83)

filed: February 18, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT
v.
CHRISTOPHER VAN JORDAN



NO. 2629 PHILADELPHIA, 1981, Appeal from the Order of September 28, 1981, in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Criminal Division, at No. 2733-80.

COUNSEL

Ronald Thomas Williamson, Assistant District Attorney, Norristown, for Commonwealth, appellant.

Arthur L. Jenkins, Jr., Norristown, for appellee.

Brosky, Wieand and Beck, JJ.

Author: Beck

[ 310 Pa. Super. Page 518]

In this case the Commonwealth is appealing the suppression of evidence against appellee Christopher Van Jordan. Since the effect of the lower court's order to suppress is to preclude the Commonwealth from proceeding in its case against Van Jordan, our Court has jurisdiction. Com. v. McCabe, 303 Pa. Super. 245, 449 A.2d 670 (1982).

[ 310 Pa. Super. Page 519]

The facts are all concerned with events that occurred on September 5, 1980, in Towamencin Township, Montgomery County. The township police were responding to a request from Dr. Charles Rossow of New Brunswick, New Jersey, to attempt to locate his daughter, Kathy Rossow, who had been missing for several days. Dr. Rossow provided the police with a description of his daughter's automobile to aid them in their search.

On September 5, police officer Stuart T. Newman received a report on a theft of a pillowcase from the night clerk of the Budget Valley Motor Lodge. Kathy Rossow was staying at the motel and had left a credit card belonging to her father as security. The night clerk also informed the police officer that there were numerous telephone calls being placed between the Rossow room and room # 328 of the local Holiday Inn, across the street from the Budget Valley Motor Lodge. Newman then spotted the Rossow automobile in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn.

When a man and a woman (not fitting Kathy Rossow's description) left the Holiday Inn and entered the car, Newman followed them and stopped the car after it had gone a short way. The driver of the car was Van Jordan, who identified himself, acknowledged that he knew the police were looking for Kathy Rossow, and told Newman that she was in his room, # 328, at the Holiday Inn. When Van Jordan was asked if anyone else was in room # 328 he answered "Yes, Sam" (R. 17a-19a).

Van Jordan drove on his way and Newman reached the clerk at the Holiday Inn and instructed him not to pass any calls through to room # 328, lest Van Jordan alert Kathy Rossow that the police were on the way. Newman and another police officer then returned to the Holiday Inn and went to room # 328, accompanied by the night clerk. They knocked, heard a male voice say "I'll be there in a minute" and heard water running in the bathroom. About thirty seconds later the door was opened by a one-legged man on crutches, with a towel wrapped around his waist, later identified as Samuel T. Feldi, since deceased (R. 19a-20a). The officers announced that their purpose was to locate

[ 310 Pa. Super. Page 520]

Kathy Rossow. Feldi told them that she was in bed, and admitted ...


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