Federal prosecutors have charged John Matthew Chapman with kidnapping after he allegedly lured 33-year-old Jaime Feden into the Nevada desert to murder her, then steal her identity and move into her house.
According to the criminal complaint, the incident began last September. Chapman convinced Feden to drive with him from Pennsylvania to Las Vegas for “a vacation” and to possibly move-in together. They arrived in Vegas around September 23.
Two days later, he told her they were doing a desert “bondage-themed photo shoot.” He used zip ties to bound her hands and feet, secured her to a signpost, then duct-taped her mouth and nose until she suffocated and died. He then removed the duct tape, zip ties, and her clothes, leaving her body to the elements.
Chapman told police he then posed as her on social media to communicate with her family after she was dead. Feden’s body wasn’t discovered until October 5, after a family stopped for a bathroom break near a desert approaching US 93 outside Las Vegas. In November, the Bethel Park Police Department in Pennsylvania conducted a welfare check on Feden at the request of a friend. Chapman returned to Pennsylvania after Feden’s death and used her home as his own.
“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 Feden’s home, investigators found a fake CIA ID card with Chapman’s name and picture, her cellphone, zip ties, and a roll of duct tape.
John Matthew Chapman, 40, is set to appear in federal court in western Pennsylvania on Monday. If convicted, he faces life in prison or the death penalty. He’s in state custody in Allegheny County in Pennsylvania as he awaits his initial appearance in federal court, according to the US Attorney’s Office in Nevada.