Man accused of killing woman, moving into her house, impersonating her on social media
PITTSBURGH — Federal prosecutors charged a Pennsylvania resident with kidnapping after he allegedly lured a woman he led to believe was his girlfriend to the Nevada desert, killed her and moved into her house, authorities say.
John Chapman, 40, is set to appear in federal court in western Pennsylvania on Monday on one count of kidnapping resulting in the death of Jaime Feden, 33.
He’s in state custody in Allegheny County in Pennsylvania as he awaits his initial appearance in federal court, the US Attorney’s Office in Nevada said.
A tragic ‘photoshoot’
Chapman told police the incident began in September. He convinced Feden to drive with him from Pennsylvania to Las Vegas under the guise of a vacation and the potential to move there together, the criminal complaint says. They arrived in Vegas around September 23.
Two days later, he told her they were doing a desert “bondage-themed photo shoot.” He bound her hands and feet with zip ties, affixed her to a signpost, and duct-taped her mouth and nose until she died from suffocation, the complaint says. He then removed the tape, zip ties and her clothing, and left her body there, according to the complaint.
A family finds the victim
Feden’s body was found after a family stopped near a desert outside Las Vegas on October 5.
The family approached US 93 and pulled over for a bathroom break. One of them wandered away to use the bathroom in the desert area and came across Feden’s remains, authorities said.
Chapman told police he tied her to a signpost in the Nevada desert and suffocated her to death, according to the criminal complaint. He then posed as her on social media to communicate with her family after she was dead, police say.
A welfare check
In November, the Bethel Park Police Department in Pennsylvania conducted a welfare check on the victim at the request of a friend.
“Neighbors stated that they had not seen the victim or her van in approximately two months, but they had recently observed a person whom they believed to be her boyfriend (Chapman) entering and leaving the victim’s residence,” the US Attorney’s Office said.
Inside the victim’s residence, investigators found a fake CIA identification card with Chapman’s name and photograph, the victim’s cellphone, multiple zip ties and a roll of duct tape.
After the victim’s body was discovered, she was considered a “Jane Doe” for weeks before coroners positively identified her through dental records in November.
Chapman returned to Pennsylvania after her death and used the victim’s residence, passing it off as his own, investigators said.
If convicted, he faces life in prison or the death penalty. Information on his attorney was not immediately available and previous calls to his family went unanswered.