Javian Ezell and Gabrielle Austin Louisiana teens charged with the murder of Junseok Chae missing ASU engineering professor after remains found in Arizona landfill.
Two Louisiana teens are facing murder charges after the body of a missing Arizona State University engineering professor was found at a Surprise landfill four months after the educator went missing.
The remains of Junseok Chae were found on July 17 at Northwest Regional Landfill. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office announced the educator had been reported missing after failing to return home from work on March 25.
The suspects, Javian Ezell and Gabrielle Austin, both 18 and a third teen were pulled over shortly after the professor went missing upon being found riding inside the missing educator’s vehicle in Shreveport, La. azfamily reports.
Deputies said the group made statements that led them to believe Chae was a victim of a homicide. They later determined Ezell and Austin killed Chae near Carefree Highway and Seventh Street in Phoenix and put his body in a dumpster, which was then taken to the landfill.
Authorities said the two teens were arrested and taken into custody, March 30, after allegedly killing Chae during an armed robbery, placing the man’s body in a trash dumpster, stealing his car and traveling on to Louisiana.
Landfill search continues for missing ASU professor Junseok Chae.
MCSO detectives believe Chae, who went missing earlier this year, is the victim of a homicide.
Chae’s body has yet to have been located. #12News
— JOSH SANDERS (@JoshSandersTV) May 15, 2020
15 people worked 10-hour days for 48 days, scouring the landfill in a search for Chae’s remains
The teens have since been extradited to Arizona and were booked into an MCSO jail on charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery, and theft of means of transportation. Their bond is set at $1 million FOX 10 reported.
Investigators in May determined that Chae’s remains might be in the Northwest Regional Landfill in Surprise, outside Phoenix. Human remains discovered there July 17 were later determined by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office to be Chae’s.
An average of 15 people worked 10-hour days for 48 days, scouring the landfill in a search for Chae’s remains, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $304,000, the Arizona Republic reported.
‘I continue to be impressed by the hard work of our deputies. Their perseverance in an extremely complex and demanding case will now allow the victim’s family closure to what has surely been a difficult period. Investigative efforts to recover a body from a landfill are rarely successful,’ said Sheriff Penzone with the MCSO in a statement.
‘We are saddened by the loss of ASU community member Junseok Chae,’ the university offered in a statement. ‘Our condolences go out to Professor Chae’s family and friends.’
Chae, who received his undergraduate degree in South Korea, had worked at ASU researching and teaching electrical engineering and computer science since 2005. He held four patents, had published more than 150 academic papers, and authored a book, according to ASU’s website.