A Pennsylvania man who was arrested in November after admitting to driving his girlfriend to Nevada and killing her in the desert has been indicted by a federal grand jury, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
John Chapman, 40, was charged by a criminal complaint Feb. 20 with one count of kidnapping which resulted in the death of a victim, the department said. The indictment was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Nevada.
Chapman is being held in federal custody in Las Vegas awaiting his first court appearance May 29.
The Bethel Park Police Department in Pennsylvania conducted a welfare check on the victim Nov. 14. It did not find the victim, later identified as Jamie Feden, 33, but spoke with neighbors who said they hadn’t seen her in about two months but had seen Chapman coming and going from the apartment, the department said.
“Inside the victim’s residence, officers found a fake CIA identification card with Chapman’s name and photograph, the victim’s cellular telephone, multiple zip ties, and a roll of duct tape,” the department said in a statement.
A relative told police they were communicating with Feden via Facebook Messenger and police later determined it was Chapman using her account after he had killed her, the department said.
Arrested Nov. 15
Chapman was arrested Nov. 15 and told police that he drove Feden from Bethel Park to Las Vegas. He said he’d told her it was a vacation and that he was thinking they’d buy a home in Las Vegas, but he said he’d planned to kill her and prepared a “kill kit” before they left Pennsylvania, the department said.
He said he drove the victim to the desert in Lincoln County and bound her feet and hands in zip ties and tied her to a signpost as part of what he told her was a photo shoot. He then put duct tape over her mouth and nose and watched her suffocate, the department said.
Her body was found and considered a “Jane Doe” until the Clark County coroner’s office identified Feden using dental records.
Chapman returned to Pennsylvania after the killing and used Feden’s house and money as his own, the department said.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison or death.