2 Charged in Gruesome Murder of Beloved Community Member Killed And Dismembered, Police Say
Shane Nguyen was reported missing by his family on April 23. He was last seen on Friday at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum after getting a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Three men were in custody in connection to the gruesome killing of Shane Nguyen, a 55-year-old Indiana man beloved by his family and community, who was found killed and dismembered in his own van.
Nguyen was reported missing by his family on April 23. He was last seen on Friday at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum after getting a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. A statewide Silver Alert was issued, which ended early Sunday morning when Nguyen's body was found in the back of his minivan, according to a Fort Wayne Police Department spokesperson.
Officers spotted Nguyen's van April 25. Officers chased the van. The driver got out and allegedly ran as a passenger took the wheel and took officers on a high speed chase, according to authorities. Officers stopped the chase because of the high speeds. Police later found the van after it had crashed through a fence at a home, according to court documents, WTHR reported.
Inside the van, officers found Nguyen's dismembered body in garbage bags. Police also say they found a receipt for a Lowes in Goshen. It had items including tarps, a hacksaw, hacksaw blades, a plastic tub and two shovels. Officers also found a large knife that was purchased at a Walmart in Goshen, according to WTHR.
Surveillance video from the stores helped police identify the three possible suspects, authorities said.
Prosecutors have filed charges against two Elkhart County men in Nguyen's death.
Mathew Cramer II, 21, was charged with three counts including murder, resisting law enforcement, and abuse of a corpse and 20-year-old Jacob Carreon-Hamilton was charged with assisting a criminal, resisting law enforcement, and abuse of a corpse charge, WPTA said.
On April 26, a third man, Cody Clements, turned himself into authorities. Clements is not in custody and no charges have been filed against him, according to the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office.
According to court documents, Cramer told detectives he asked Nguyen for a ride. He allegedly told authorities he planned to kill Nguyen before they reached Fort Wayne, the news station reported.
Once they arrived at Cramer's storage unit facility on Coliseum Boulevard, Cramer said he put Nguyen in a chokehold until he passed out, hit Nguyen’s head hard on the pavement, and then dragged his body into the storage unit to complete the killing, police said according to WTHR.
Carreon-Hamilton told detectives he wasn't present for the killing, but helped Cramer with the plan to dispose of the body, WPTA reported.
The men allegedly loaded Nguyen's body back into the van in an attempt to dispose of it, but that's when police found them behind a building and started the police pursuit, according to the news station.
Sgt. Webb called the case “barbaric,” and police are investigating the motive, according to WTHR. Police don’t believe Nguyen's killing was a hate crime.
“It was brutal and extreme,” Webb said. “It’s not every day we come across cases of this butchery.”
Cramer is scheduled for an initial ominous hearing Tuesday at 8 a.m. at the Allen County Superior Court. He is not being represented by an attorney yet, according to the Allen County Clerk’s Office.
Nguyen, who was described as a “loving husband and father,” had two sons, ages 17 and 20, and sang in the church choir. He was two days shy of his 56th birthday, according to his cousin, Tran Hoang, the organizer of the GoFundMe page created for his family.
“Shane was a small business owner and the primary source of income for his family. His family is devastated by this tragedy and are struggling to piece their lives together amidst the investigations and preparations for the funeral,” Hoang wrote.
”While we are still trying to process details of the senseless violence that took Shane's life, we are somewhat comforted to know that all three suspects wanted in connection with his passing have been arrested and are in police custody," the family wrote on the GoFundMe. "We hope that these individuals are brought to justice.”
As of Monday, his fundraising campaign has raised $283,282, surpassing their initial goal of $20,000.
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