A Pennsylvania woman’s boyfriend stands accused in her disappearance, after reportedly telling authorities he drove them to Las Vegas promising a vacation — but actually intended to kill her.
The woman, 33-year-old Jamie Rae Feden, of Bethel Park, allegedly died in the Nevada desert after John Matthew Chapman says that, under the guise of taking Feden’s photo, he bound her to a signpost, then suffocated her with duct tape over her mouth and nose, according to a criminal complaint, reports CBS Pittsburgh.
A body found Oct. 5 in Lincoln County, Nevada, has not been identified, and Feden remains missing, say police who on Friday announced the arrest of Chapman, 39, on charges of kidnapping, obstructing administration of law and criminal use of a communication facility.
Chapman is being held in the Allegheny County jail without bail and is “under investigation for homicide,” according to a criminal docket posting cited by Pittsburgh TV station WTAE.
“We are still actively working to locate Jaime Feden,” Bethel Park police said Friday in a statement posted to the agency’s Facebook page.
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Feden has not been seen since Sept. 15.
According to the criminal complaint, Feden has a “tumultuous” past with Chapman, but she nonetheless traveled with him in late September to Las Vegas for the alleged vacation and the additional “potential of acquiring residence” there, reports CBS Pittsburgh.
“At some point on or about September 25, 2019, the suspect convinced the victim to drive into the desert under the pretext of participating in an S&M (sadomasochistic/bondage) themed photo shoot,” the complaint alleges, reports WTAE.
The complaint continues: “At the location, the suspect bound the victim’s hands and feet with plastic zip ties and affixed her to a signpost. He then applied duct tape to her mouth and then to her nose until such time she was unable to breathe. At some point thereafter, the victim, Jaime Feden, died from suffocation.”
“The suspect subsequently removed the tape [from] her mouth, zip ties from her hands and feet, and clothing from the victim’s body,” the complaint alleged. “The suspect left the victim’s body in the area of the signpost and traveled from Nevada back to Bethel Park.”
The body discovered in Nevada had “many of the unique physical characteristics” attributed to Feden, according to the complaint. A coroner’s report is pending.
Chapman allegedly impersonated Feden on social media to make it appear she was alive but wanted no contact with her family, and gave police false information about her whereabouts to hinder a missing person investigation after her family alerted authorities she was missing on Thursday, according to the complaint.
An attorney who might speak on Chapman’s behalf was not identified in court records.