LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Pennsylvania man was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday in the kidnapping and slaying of a woman in the Nevada desert.
John Chapman, 40, is charged with "one count of kidnapping which resulted in the death of the victim," according to U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse for the FBI.
He was charged by a criminal complaint on Feb. 20 and has been held in federal custody in Las Vegas. He'll appear in U.S. District Court on May 29.
Jamie Feden had not been seen since September. Feden's family contacted the Bethel Park Police for a welfare check.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by FOX5, police in November found limited personal items in Feden's home. While looking for Feden's identification, police said they found three backpacks, one that contained underwear and bras too large for Feden's small frame, and another with zip ties and a roll of duct tape.
Chapman contacted Bethel Park Police multiple times the following day and gave false information about the whereabouts of Feden, investigators said. He was arrested for criminal use of a communication facility and obstructing administration of law.
Feden, 33, suffered from Vater syndrome, which police said limited her mental capacity. Chapman told police he planned to kill her with the motive of money before they left for Nevada and that he had a "kill kit" ready.
He confessed to police that he drove Feden to Las Vegas to look at homes, then convinced her to go to the desert for a bondage photo shoot.
In Lincoln County, Chapman "bound the victim's hands and feet with plastic zip ties, and affixed her to a signpost. He then applied duct tape to her mouth, and then to her nose until such a time that she was unable to breathe."
He said after she suffocated, he untied her, removed the tape and her clothing and left her there.
"He then watched [Feden] die from asphyxiation," the report said.
Investigators said while Feden was missing, her family said someone reached out to them from her Facebook Messenger account pretending to be Feden. However, according to police, Chapman was on the other end.
Chapman had reportedly used "Burner" apps to mask his number to pretend to be Feden. Photos found by police on Chapman's phone included one from Las Vegas and another showing Feden's bound body in the desert, according to the complaint.
Chapman's family said he and Feden met at either a high school or college for students with special education needs, according to a CNN report. His family said they thought he was going on a work trip when the incident with Feden allegedly happened.
He continued to live in Feden's house after her death, the FBI said.
The complaint said Bethel Park Police were contacted by Chapman's girlfriend after his arrest. She told police on their second date, Sept. 28, 2019, Chapman took her to Feden's house, saying it belonged to his late uncle.
"She was a very loving type of a person and I think she was taken advantage of by someone who was a predator," Bethel Park Police Chief Timothy O'Connor said.
If convicted, Chapman faces the maximum penalty of life in prison or death.
The case involves the FBI, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Bethel Park Police Department.