Pennsylvania Man Used Missing Woman's Facebook To Fool Family, Police Said
Authorities allege John Matthew Chapman confessed to killing Jaime Feden.
Authorities in Pennsylvania allege a man has confessed to killing a woman and used her Facebook and cellphone to pretend to be her. Authorities suspect they've found the woman's remains but have yet to make a positive identification.
According to a copy of a criminal complaint obtained by Pittsburgh's WPXI-TV, John Matthew Chapman, 39, tricked Jaime Rae Feden, 33, into thinking they were driving to Las Vegas for vacation. But instead, around Sept. 25, Chapman allegedly lured Feden into the Nevada desert under the guise of a photoshoot, police said.
According to a confession Chapman has allegedly given to police, the photoshoot was a ruse. Instead of taking pictures, police claim Chapman told them he used cable ties to bind Feden to a sign and covered her nose and mouth with duct tape. After Feden suffocated to death, Chapman allegedly removed the bindings and her clothing. He then left her body behind before driving back to his home in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, the complaint alleges.
Authorities further allege Chapman pretended to be Feden by using her Facebook messenger to contact her loved ones. Her close friend, Nikki Lawrence, told Buzzfeed News she suspects Chapman sent her text messages from Feden’s phone.
Feden's family grew suspicious and reported her missing on Nov. 14, nearly two months after they last saw her. Allegheny County detectives then contacted the Clark County Nevada Coroners Office and reportedly learned authorities there had discovered an unidentified body in early October. The body reportedly matches Felden’s description, but authorities said it could take weeks to positively identify the remains.
Lawrence told Buzzfeed News that Feden had VATER syndrome, a cluster of congenital disabilities that can affect the vertebrae, anus, trachea, esophagus, and kidneys. Lawrence said she believes Faden met Chapman around 2009, at a school for people with disabilities.
"She was such a sweetheart," Lawrence said. "She didn’t do anything wrong to anybody to deserve anything like this. She loved him, and she just wanted him to love her."
An aspiring medical assistant, Feden likely wasn’t aware her on-again, off-again boyfriend was married, Lawrence told Buzzfeed News.
Chapman’s wife of about a year, who reportedly believed her husband was driving to Vegas for a work trip, told WPXI-TV she learned of the case on Nov. 15, when he called her from the Bethel Park Police Department.
"He said he had murdered a woman," Maureen Chapman said.
Chapman reportedly claims she “was in disbelief" when he allegedly said, "I killed her because I had to.” She added, "Oh, my God, it's sick. It's really sick. I just want the truth as to what happened. I feel I'm owed that."
Kelly Murray, Matthew Chapman's ex-wife of seven years, told WPXI-TV he is a “manipulator” and a “liar.” She alleges he was romantically involved with Feden while they were married.
"He conned [Feden] into giving him every single penny she has," Murray alleged.
Murray said she too wants answers.
"Why? Why her," she asked. "Did she know something he didn't want anyone else knowing? … Has he done this before?"
The Bethel Park Police Department has charged Chapman with kidnapping, obstructing the administration of law, and criminal use of a communication facility.
Possible homicide charges are pending, but “first we have to locate Jamie — if she is, in fact, dead and if he is, in fact, telling the truth on this matter,” Police Chief Timothy O’Connor said, according to Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV.