A man who allegedly killed his roommate in a fight over stolen mail before cutting up his body and placing the parts in public trash cans six years ago in Indiana was arrested Thursday near Boston, according to cops.
Massachusetts State Police said in a press release that John Hallett, 48, hit his roommate Paul Gonzales with a blunt force object and choked him to death in November 2017. Hallett then dismembered Gonzales’s body and then disposed the remains in various trash cans, MSP said.
Michigan City police said Det. Lt. Anna Painter opened an investigation in August 2022 after learning a homicide possibly occurred inside a home on the city’s northwest side. A cadaver dog was sent to the home where the homicide allegedly took place and alerted to possible human remains in the basement. Investigators sent the decomposing matter to a lab where it was confirmed to be human, MSP said. Painter “worked quickly” to identify Gonzales, 64, as the victim and Hallett as a suspect, a press release from Michigan City police said.
The Times of Northwest Indiana, citing an arrest affidavit, reported Hallett hit Gonzales from behind with a crutch. Hallett believed Gonzales was stealing his mail.
Both men were homeless in 2015 before a housing agency placed them in a home together, the newspaper reported.
“John then moved Paul’s body into a bedroom for a few days but then moved him into the basement where he was kept for 56 days,” Painter wrote in the affidavit. “John then used a hacksaw to cut up Paul’s body and place the parts into trash bags where he then disposed of them in the city residential trash cans.”
More on Law&Crime: Missing mom’s body parts found in landfill 70 miles from bloody murder scene at her home: Police
Painter received an arrest warrant for Hallett on charges of murder and abuse of a corpse on Aug. 8 of this year. Michigan City police and the U.S. Marshals Service learned Hallett was in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, area.
Hallett was taken into custody Thursday morning and taken to the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction where he is awaiting extradition back to Indiana.
Neighbor Alex Majetich told Boston NBC affiliate WBTS she saw about 20 men in bulletproof vests swarm the apartment building Thursday morning as she was headed to the gym.
“I just assumed they were, like, shooting a movie or something because this stuff doesn’t happen around here,” she told the TV station.
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