Convicted murderer Ira Einhorn was moved this week from the medium-security state prison where he has been held since his 2002 conviction to a minimum-security prison with units for terminally ill and geriatric inmates.

Susan McNaughton, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, confirmed that Einhorn, 75, was moved Monday from State Correctional Institution Houtzdale, in Clearfield County, to SCI Laurel Highlands in Somerset County. She declined to give a reason, citing privacy concerns.

"I can't tell you why, because there could be medical reasons and we don't discuss medical reasons, but it could be for another reason," McNaughton said. "It's not uncommon for us to move our inmates around the system temporarily."

McNaughton said that Houtzdale was still considered Einhorn's "home institution" and that prison officials plan to return him there.

Einhorn was found guilty of killing his girlfriend, Holly Maddux, in 1977 and stuffing her body into a trunk that he kept in his Powelton apartment for 18 months. In 1981, just before his trial, he fled to Europe, and he remained on the lam for two decades. He was extradited from France in 2001 and convicted of Maddux's murder in 2002.

He has been imprisoned at Houtzdale ever since.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood, who discovered Maddux's body when he was a homicide detective with the Philadelphia Police Department, was not aware of Einhorn's prison transfer but said such moves are usually done when inmates are sick.

"They moved a convicted murderer? He must be dying," Chitwood said. "I haven't heard a word about him at all . . . but I'm not on his Christmas or Hanukkah card list."

The most recent lawyer listed for Einhorn on court records did not immediately return a request for comment.

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