FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A man who went missing last week and was later found killed after a high-speed chase and crash early Sunday had been dismembered, court records show.
Mathew Cramer, 21, and Jacob Carreon-Hamilton, 20, have been arrested in the death and subsequent dismemberment of 55-year-old Shane V. Nguyen.
WARNING: Details below may be disturbing.
According to a probable cause affidavit released Tuesday, early Sunday, a Fort Wayne Police officer spotted a “suspicious vehicle” behind a building and when he went to investigate, he saw a black van driving away. The van was registered to Shane Nguyen, who was the subject of a Silver Alert issued two days before, the affidavit said.
Police tried to stop the van but it sped off at a high rate of the speed, the affidavit said. At one point, the driver jumped from the van and the passenger moved to the driver’s seat.
Police stopped the chase due to high speeds. The van eventually crashed into the backyard of a home off Forest Park Boulevard, off East State Boulevard. The driver ran off.
Inside the van, police found the dismembered body of Nguyen in black plastic trash bags, the affidavit said. An autopsy found Nguyen died of blunt force trauma to the head, and the Allen County Coroner’s Office ruled his death a homicide.
During a search of the van, investigators found receipts from Goshen stores that listed items including tarps, a hacksaw, hacksaw blades, a plastic tub, two shovels and a large knife, the affidavit said.
At the stores, police gathered surveillance that showed three males buying the items. A witness identified one of the men as Carreon-Hamilton, and detectives recognized another as Cramer, the affidavit said.
Security video also showed the men driving Nguyen’s Honda Odyssey van, the affidavit said.
Detectives then found a picture of Cramer on social media that showed him at a storage facility along North Coliseum Boulevard in Fort Wayne. Detectives went there and found a blood-stained tarp with a large knife on it, along with other items, the affidavit said.
Police said they believe the men dismembered Nguyen’s body in the storage unit, the affidavit said.
Carreon-Hamilton was taken into custody on Monday. During an interview with police, he said he “did not know what happened” until he came to Fort Wayne and Cramer took him to the storage unit and saw a body, the affidavit said. Carreon-Hamilton told police he sat in the van while Cramer “did whatever he did” inside the storage unit.
Carreon-Hamilton said he did not have anything to do with Nguyen’s death and said he did not know why they were buying the items at the Goshen stores, the affidavit said.
Cramer was found in Lakeville, Indiana, on Monday and taken to Fort Wayne Police headquarters for an interview.
Cramer told police he’d asked Nguyen for a ride from Elkhart back to Fort Wayne and that he planned to kill Nguyen before they reached Fort Wayne, the affidavit said. It remains unclear why.
In Fort Wayne, Cramer said they went to his storage unit on North Coliseum Boulevard. There, Cramer said he had Nguyen turn around and he put him in a choke hold until he was unconscious. At that point, Cramer said he slammed Nguyen’s head on the pavement, the affidavit said.
At that point, Cramer said he pulled the body into the storage unit and “completed killing” Nguyen, the affidavit said. He left his body inside the storage unit, locked it and drove back to Goshen to buy items with Carreon-Hamilton and another man – Cody Clements, the affidavit said.
Cramer told police that he took money from Nguyen and gave it to Carreon-Hamilton and Clements to buy the items, the affidavit said. Cramer said he discussed with Carreon-Hamilton how they were going to get rid of the body, and they dropped off Clements before they returned to Fort Wayne, the affidavit said.
Cramer told police he used a knife to cut Nguyen’s body while Carreon-Hamilton held the body, the affidavit said. Carreon-Hamilton “was coaching” Cramer on “how to cut the body,” the affidavit said.
After it was dismembered, Carreon-Hamilton and Cramer loaded the body into the back of the van to dispose of it “but a police officer found them behind a building,” the affidavit said.
Mathew Cramer, 21, is charged with Murder, Resisting Law Enforcement, and Abuse of a Corpse.
Jacob Carreon-Hamilton, 20, is charged with Assisting a Criminal, Resisting Law Enforcement, and Abuse of a Corpse.
Charges have not yet been filed against Clements.