A married man has been accused of kidnapping and killing his girlfriend, later posing as her online to cover up her death.
According to court documents filed on Monday, the FBI believe 39-year-old John Matthew Chapman lured Jaime Feden from Pennsylvania to Las Vegas, where he allegedly tied her to a signpost in a Nevada desert and watched her die from asphyxiation after he put duct tape over her mouth and nose.
A probable cause affidavit alleges that Chapman told Feden, 33, that they were there to do an S&M photoshoot. He allegedly bound her hands and feet with plastic zip ties, untying her after she’d suffocated to death, later removing her clothes and leaving her body there as he drove back to Pennsylvania.
According to the documents, Chapman told police he killed her “for her money.” When detectives searched Chapman’s cell phone, they discovered a photo of Feden bound in the desert, dated Sept. 25, 2019. Police say Chapman had a “kill kit” prepared ahead of the trip.
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Per the court documents, when authorities searched Feden’s apartment after concerned family members and neighbors requested a welfare check, they discovered three backpacks. One bag contained women’s underwear and bras, and another had zip ties and duct tape inside.
Feden hadn’t been answering her phone, and family members were not convinced it was Feden who had been communicating with them via Facebook Messenger. So a relative sent Feden a text claiming a made-up family member had died.
When the followup text was “I’m sorry. When did he die?” they knew it wasn’t Feden, and according to police, they believe Chapman was impersonating her to avoid raising alarms.
The person allegedly posing as Feden also texted back: “I’m sorry to be distant but the way everyone has treated me I don’t feel like part of the family anymore.”
“She was a very loving type of a person and I think she was taken advantage of by someone who was a predator,” a spokesperson for the Bethel Park Police told KVVU.
According to WPXI, when Chapman was taken into custody in November, he called his wife, who told the outlet she was in “disbelief” at the situation and mentioned he’d led a “double life.”
It is unclear whether Chapman has an attorney to comment on his behalf. He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail and will appear in federal court on Mar. 2, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.