BETHEL PARK, Pa. — The remains of Jaime Feden were identified more than a month after her body was found in a Nevada desert, and the man who allegedly confessed to her murder is behind bars.
Feden’s family contacted police the night of Nov. 14 to report her missing.
Police said John Chapman, 39, confessed to driving Feden to Las Vegas sometime around Sept. 25, suffocating her and leaving her to die. Police in Nevada found a body in October but were not able to identify it as Feden's until late November.
Chapman is in custody and facing several charges, including kidnapping. He has not yet been charged with homicide.
Feden had a condition called VATER syndrome, which affected her body's structure. That was why she was 4 feet, 1 inch tall and weighed 75 pounds.
Channel 11's Amy Hudak traveled to Las Vegas and spoke with Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee, who said as soon as his office learned about the missing person report there was no doubt the body was Feden's.
Channel 11 spoke with one of Feden’s friends, who said she still cannot believe she is gone. Justina Peternel had harsh words for Chapman.
“I hope you spend the rest of your life in jail and never come back,” said Peternel. “I still am in shock. She didn’t deserve any of this. I still think she’s going to walk in and be like hey guys I’m here, but she’s not going to show up again.”
The two worked together at The Sheridan at Bethel Park senior living home until this past summer.
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Months went by and no one had heard from Feden, until they saw what happened on the news.
- Body of missing Bethel Park woman identified after being found in Nevada desert
- Timeline of Bethel Park woman's disappearance, man's alleged confession of her murder
- Man tells police he drove Bethel Park woman to Las Vegas desert, suffocated her and left her to die
- Who is John Chapman: Man who told police he left local woman to die in Vegas desert
- DOWNLOAD the Channel 11 News app for breaking news alerts
Feden’s boyfriend, Chapman – who is married to a woman in Maryland – allegedly told police he tied her to a signpost in a desert near Las Vegas, duct taped her mouth shut and nose to suffocate her and left her body there after she died.
“I actually had nightmares about it. And I would wake up at 3 a.m. and be like, ‘What the heck is going on?’ What could we have done to step in and help her?” said Peternel.
Chapman's family told Channel 11 he met Feden at either a high school or college for students with special educational needs and that he often had a lot of close friends. Police said Chapman would often stay at Feden's Bethel Park townhome.
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