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Sale of a stolen van leads authorities to charge Cleveland man for Willoughby murder

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Posted at 10:14 AM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 13:25:06-04

Willoughby police have arrested a 23-year-old Cleveland resident for the death of a 58-year-old Willoughby resident who was found dead in his bedroom last week.

Herbert M. Beard Jr., 23, of Cleveland, and Miriah L. Provitt, 25, of Boardman, were located on Van Buren Drive in Columbus by authorities on July 12 after authorities discovered the victim's stolen 2007 Dodge Caravan was sold to a Cleveland resident.

Beard was charged with murder, tampering with evidence and receiving stolen property. Provitt was charged with receiving stolen property.

On July 9, Sam Pizzuto was found in the first-floor bedroom of his Willoughby residence on the 37000 block of Arlington Drive after he hadn't been heard from since July 1. When police arrived, they found the rear sliding door to be unlocked. Initial findings indicated that Pizzuto died from blunt force trauma to the head. 

Through the investigation, authorities learned that Beard and Provitt briefly resided with Pizzuto at the end of June.

Beard appeared in court today and his bond was set at $1,000,000. His next court day is July 26.

Provitt's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, July 19.