GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Court documents indicate the parents of a man charged with murdering a woman and then mutilating her body had a greater role in covering up the crime than simply lying for their son.
Ashley Young, 31, of Oshtemo Township, was last seen with Jared Chance around 1:30 a.m. Nov. 29 at Miss Tracy’s Liquor Store on Franklin Street near Neland Avenue SE in Grand Rapids, according to court documents obtained Thursday. That’s about a block from Chance’s apartment.
On Dec. 2, the couple living downstairs from Chance noticed an unusual smell coming from the basement of the house on Franklin near Dolbee Avenue SE. When one of them went to check it out, he found a tarp leaking blood.
“It was a tarp at the end of the basement stairs,” the neighbor Mario Nelson described to 24 Hour News 8. “I just saw a little blood. It just hit me. I ran back upstairs.”
He called police.
In the tarp, officers found a torso. The body was missing both arms, both legs and the head, the court documents stated.
Arms and legs — which DNA testing later confirmed were Young’s — were found in a cardboard box inside the house on a stairwell landing leading down from Chance’s apartment. The box had a shipping label listing his name and address, according to the documents.
The documents also said blood was found on the stairway and in Chance’s bathtub, and human tissue was discovered in his kitchen sink.
An autopsy found “Young did not die of an overdose, or of any natural causes,” the court documents said, and that the dismemberment happened after her death. But the documents also say that without her head, the medical examiner can’t determine the exact cause of death. For now, it has been labeled a “homicide by unspecified means.”
Young’s hands and feet have also not been found.
“I feel sorry for her family,” Nelson, the neighbor, said. “I’m doing everything I can to help them, the police, (with) whatever they got to do because this terrible.”
SAW WITH HUMAN TISSUE FOUND UNDER CHANCE FAMILY’S COUCH
Court documents say that on or about Dec. 1, Jared Chance was picked up by his parents, James and Barbara Chance, in the family’s Honda. Police say Jared Chance’s younger brother Konrad Chance was also in the car.
Investigators say boxes from the Franklin home were placed into the Honda. Traces of human blood and tissue were found inside the car.
The documents say James and Barbara Chance drove their son to their home in Holland, but first made a stop at Ashley Young’s car so he could retrieved another box.
A search of James and Barbara Chance’s home revealed a saw under the couch in the living room, the documents say. Traces of blood and tissue were found on that saw.
Young’s autopsy indicated the saw was used in her dismemberment.
CHANCE TOLD NEIGHBOR HE COULD GET AWAY WITH MURDER
According to the court documents, Nelson, the man who lived downstairs from Jared Chance at the Franklin Street house, also told detectives he had a conversation with Chance in the days before the alleged murder.
Nelson said Chance told him he knew how to murder someone and how he could get away with it. The neighbor told investigators Chance had a .22 revolver, which he was constantly picking up and moving around the table during the conversation.
During a search of the basement where Young’s remains were found, several rounds of .22 caliber ammunition were found.
Chance, 29, has been charged with mutilation of a dead body and concealing Young’s death. He is expected to be arraigned Friday on additional charges, including open murder and three counts of tampering with evidence. He faces life in prison if convicted.
James and Barbara Chance are each charged with perjury and being accessories after the fact in the case.
However, Barbara Chance told 24 Hour News 8 that she and James Chance, who is a former police officer, did call police. James Chance also said he and his wife turned their son in. Police deny these claims.