Authorities have positively identified the remains of Pennsylvania woman who had allegedly been lured to the Nevada desert by her boyfriend and suffocated to death with duct tape.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Thursday that a body found in the desert near a sign post in October is that of 33-year-old Jamie Feden, according to a post from the department.
The body was identified through dental records, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Feden’s boyfriend, 39-year-old John Chapman, allegedly confessed to Bethel Park Police during questioning last week that he had taken Feden on a trip to Las Vegas in September, police said. Chapman then lured her to the desert under the guise that they were going to have a photo shoot and bound her hands and feet with zip ties and tied her to a sign post. Chapman then told police he put duct tape over her mouth and nose and waited until she suffocated. Then he allegedly removed the tape and zip ties and left her body in the desert before driving home, police said.
Her body was later found in October by an 8-year-old who had been taking a road trip with his dad, local station WPXI reports.
After Feden's death, Chapman tried to convince her family she was still alive by sending them messages through Facebook messenger, police said; however, the family eventually reported her missing in November.
After Chapman alleged confession, authorities reached out to their counterparts in Nevada to determine whether any unidentified bodies had been found in the area around the time of the couple’s ill-fated trip.
Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee told WPXI that as soon as his office heard of the missing person report, they suspected the body recovered in October had been Feden.
“Tattoos she had on her, family members names … everything was pointing to that direction,” Lee said.
Chapman has already been charged in Pennsylvania with kidnapping and criminal use of communication facility and obstructing the administration of law. It's likely additional charges will now be filed after Feden’s body has been positively identified.
Neighbors had reported that Chapman—who was married to another woman—and Feden had a “tumultuous past” before she was killed.
His family told WPXI that he had met Feden either at a high school or college for students with special educational needs.
Feden reportedly suffered from VATER syndrome, a condition that typically includes a series of birth defects that often occur together and can impact the vertebrae, anus, trachea, esophagus or renal system. The condition was likely the reason for her small stature—she was only 4’1” tall and weighed just 75 pounds.
Chapman’s wife, Maureen Chapman, told WPXI that her husband had been leading a “double life,” pretending to visit family and lying about his job so that could carry out the affair with Feden.
He called her the morning of his arrest to confess, she said.
“He said he had murdered a woman,” she told the station. “I was in disbelief.”
Chapman allegedly told his wife he had killed Feden because he “had to.”
Feden’s first wife, Kelly Murray, also spoke with WPXI and told the station that during their volatile marriage, Chapman had been cheating on her with Feden and other women. She eventually left him after he was sentenced to federal prison for using a debit card copier to steal more than $100,000 from 26 people.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.