Pennsylvania police have charged a Bethel Park man who allegedly confessed to driving his girlfriend to Nevada two months ago under false pretenses, suffocating her, and leaving her nude body by the side of a desert road.
John Chapman, 39, was arraigned Friday on charges of kidnapping, criminal use of communication facility and obstructing administration of law in the disappearance of Jaime Rae Feden, who was last seen on September 15, the Bethel Park Police Department said.
Court documents say that Chapman told investigators he and Feden drove to Las Vegas sometime in September for a vacation with the “potential of acquiring residence,” according to KDKA. Later in the month, the court papers say, Chapman drove her into desert, telling her it was for a bondage photo shoot, News 3 Las Vegas reported. There, he allegedly told police he used zip ties to bind her hands and feet, tied her to a signpost, and duct taped her mouth and nose so she couldn’t breathe. After she died, he removed the zip ties, duct tape, and her clothing and left her body by the signpost.
A motorist found a body fond in Lincoln County, Nevada, on October 5 that matches Feden’s description as well as the account Chapman provided Bethel Park police, Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said. The body is currently with the Clark County coroner for further identification.
Bethel Park Police Chief Timothy O’Connor told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that his department is not charging Chapman with homicide.
“The statements he has made are leading us to believe that if there is such a crime, it would be out in Nevada,” he said.
Bethel Park police began a search for Feden when her family requested a welfare check this week, saying they had not seen her in two months, although they’d seen Chapman at her home, WPXI reported. Family members told police Feden and Chapman had a volatile relationship.
Action News 4 reported that Chapman was arrested when he returned to Feden’s home and that investigators found her cell phone there, along with a backpack that had duct tape and zip ties inside.
Family members also said they’d received messages via Feden’s Facebook Messenger account purporting to be from her, but police have said they believe Chapman wrote them.
Chapman’s family told police that he has been married to another woman for a year and that they believed he was going to Las Vegas for work.
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[Featured image: Jaime Feden/ Bethel Park Police Department]