Suspect in Main Line assault probe found dead

Posted: July 12, 2012

YOU'VE PROBABLY read the line in crime novels or heard it on police procedural TV shows: Cops telling a suspect to stay where they can find him while they conduct the investigation.

Robert Hendricks didn't go anywhere. Hadn't moved an inch in weeks.

The 63-year-old Radnor Township resident apparently blew a hole in his head — likely sometime in May — after cops raided his Highland Lane home near the Haverford border and seized several computers as part of a sexual-assault investigation involving a teenage girl.

Hendricks' decomposing body wasn't discovered until Saturday when one of his daughters knocked on the door, got no response and called police. Radnor Police Lt. Andrew Block said Hendricks died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He'd likely been dead six to eight weeks, Block said.

"It's a pretty sordid story," said 5th Ward Commissioner John Nagle, who sent an email to township residents Monday explaining the police and Delaware County Medical Examiner activity outside Hendricks' house over the weekend.

Investigators are awaiting the completion of a forensic analysis of Hendricks' computers. They're looking for any evidence related to the alleged assault, including photos or messages.

"She was picked up by him and he brought her back to the house. Allegedly, over the course of several hours, the sexual assault occurred," Block said. "Just because this person at this point is no longer alive, we're thorough and we'll continue the investigation."

Police are being tight-lipped about the case because the alleged victim is a minor and no charges have been filed.

But a township source said Hendricks apparently told cops that he believed the girl was 18.  

Contact William Bender at 215-854-5255 or benderw@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @wbender99. Read his blog, "Daily Delco" at philly.com/dailydelco.

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