The Pennsylvania man who confessed to kidnapping and killing his girlfriend kept up her Facebook profile and messaged family and friends pretending to be her — for weeks after he bound and suffocated her in a Las Vegas desert, according to new reports.
John Chapman, 39, who is married but was also seeing his 33-year-old paramour Jaime Rae Feden, lured the woman from the suburb of Bethel Park to Las Vegas in late September, promising a photo shoot, local outlet KDKA reported.
Instead, he zip-tied his girlfriend’s hands and feet to a signpost then suffocated her using duct tape, he has confessed, according to multiple outlets.
He then removed the tape, the zip ties and the woman’s clothing before leaving her near the signpost and driving back to Bethel Park, according to a criminal complaint obtained by KDKA.
During his interview with police, Chapman confessed to killing Feden in Nevada, Bethel Park Police Chief Timothy O’Connor told BuzzFeed News.
For nearly two months, Chapman tried to keep up the appearance that Feden — who had VATER Syndrome, a rare congenital condition that resulted in her petite stature — was alive.
He reached out to family members through Feden’s Facebook messenger account, pretending to be her, KDKA reported. Police confirmed to the station that Chapman sent the messages.
Longtime friend Nikki Lawrence told BuzzFeed that the family reported receiving wrong answers to questions for which Feden would have known the answers.
Lawrence, who said she last saw Feden on Sept. 5, texted her to check in, she told the outlet. She received responses saying that Chapman had planned a trip for the two of them — but Lawrence said she believes Chapman wrote the messages himself.
“It’s making me sick now knowing that this was him texting me the whole time,” Lawrence posted to Facebook.
Lawrence also told BuzzFeed she thinks Chapman — who she believes met her friend at a school for people with disabilities — had been posting photos and check-ins to Feden’s Facebook account weeks after she’d last been seen.
On Thursday — the day Feden’s family reported her disappearance to cops — a since-deleted post on her Facebook page said that she hated her family.
“They need to stay out of my life,” said the post, obtained by BuzzFeed. “They called the cops because I won’t jump to their wishes.”
Chapman was charged Friday with kidnapping, obstructing administration of law, and criminal use of a communication facility, police said in a statement.
His wife, Maureen Chapman, said that he was living a “double life” and called the whole ordeal “really sick.”
Chapman hasn’t been charged with murder despite his confession. Authorities said they’ve recovered a body and are trying to determine whether it was Feden’s.
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