The federal homicide case against John Matthew Chapman, 40, took another step forward on Tuesday. He was indicted for allegedly kidnapping Pennsylvania woman Jaime Rae Feden, and killing her in a Nevada desert, according to The Department of Justice. The defendant had first been charged with one count of kidnapping resulting in death back in February.
The gist of it is that Chapman allegedly had a relationship with Feden. Prosecutors said he lured her to a desert in Lincoln County, Nevada. They started what was supposed to be a photo shoot. It wasn’t, according to the official account. It was allegedly a trap. The deceived Feden let Chapman bind her hands and feet with zip ties to a signpost, authorities said. Chapman allegedly put duct tape on her mouth and nose, then watched her die. It was an asphyxiation, according to the official account.
Investigators said this had been planned out. The defendant allegedly had a “kill kit” prepared before he drove her from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania out to Las Vegas.
This was in September of 2019. Bethel Park cops conducted a welfare check on Feden on the following November 14 because a friend of hers asked them to. According to the DOJ, neighbors told investigators they hadn’t seen her in about two months, but they witnessed a person thought to be her boyfriend entering and leaving the home. Guess who that supposed boyfriend was, according to investigators. Officers said that at the residence, they found Feden’s cell phone, zip ties, a roll of duct tape, and a fake CIA ID featuring Chapman’s name and picture.
Investigators said that the defendant had been using Feden’s Facebook account, pretending to be her while communicating with one of her relatives after her death.
Cops arrested Chapman on November 15. He allegedly admitted driving Feden out to Las Vegas, misleading her about this trip being a vacation, and killing her. As part of his lie to her, he said that they might buy a home in Las Vegas, investigators said.
Feden’s body was discovered in November 5 by a family that had stopped nearby for a bathroom break. She wasn’t identified until later in the month, after the defendant was arrested.
MISSING PERSON: Jaime Rae Feden. Please contact us if recently seen. pic.twitter.com/H4RiQOGzZ1
— Bethel Park Police (@bethelparkpd) November 15, 2019
“She didn’t let it affect her at all,” friend Nikki Lawrence told the outlet. “She wanted to go to college, she wanted to be a medical assistant like me.”
She said that Feden had previously worked full-time at a care home. Lawrence said that Feden’s relatives and many friends didn’t like the relationship with Chapman, but Feden stood her ground. Nonetheless, Lawrence described an ugly relationship. The defendant was “very mean” to Feden, and used her for money, the friend alleged. In one incident, the owner of a bar chased Chapman down the street when Feden showed up featuring two black eyes, according to Lawrence.
Chapman was married to another woman. Maureen Chapman said her husband had been living a “double life,” and that he admitted the murder to her while calling from the police station.
“Oh my God, it’s sick,” she told WPXI. “It’s really sick.”
Attorneys for John Chapman in the federal case didn’t immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment. He pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and other charges in a Pennsylvania court in December. That case is apparently going to trial. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department was investigating Feden’s death in Nevada.
[Screengrab via WPXI-TV]
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