FORT WAYNE — Two men faced charges Tuesday in the death and dismemberment of a 55-year-old man found in a vehicle that crashed in Fort Wayne, authorities said.
Mathew Cramer, 21, was charged with murder, resisting law enforcement using a vehicle and abuse of a corpse in the death of Shane Nguyen.
Jacob Carreon-Hamilton, 20, faces charges of assisting a criminal, resisting law enforcement in a vehicle and abuse of a corpse.
Officers found Nguyen’s body in black plastic trash bags in his van Sunday, two days after he was reported missing, an affidavit said. An autopsy determined Nguyen died from blows to his head.
The van was involved in a police chase Sunday. During the pursuit, the driver jumped from the vehicle and a passenger moved to the driver’s seat, the affidavit said. The van later crashed into a fence outside a home and the second driver fled on foot.
According to a report in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Cramer, Carreon-Hamilton and a third man were seen in a store video from a Lowe’s in Goshen purchasing items that may have been used in committing crimes, based on a receipt found. Court documents also said a large knife was purchased from a Walmart in Goshen.
The video also showed the men driving Nguyen’s van, the affidavit said.
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’s unclear how the two men knew each other.
Cramer told investigators they went to the storage unit and put Nguyen in a choke hold until he was unconscious. Cramer said he then slammed Nguyen’s head on the pavement, the affidavit said.
Cramer told police he used a knife to cut Nguyen’s body while Carreon-Hamilton held the body, the affidavit said.