On December 2nd, 2018 a Grand Rapids resident made a phone call to a local Michigan police station to report a strange and unpleasant odor coming from the duplex he rented at 992 Franklin Street, SE. He told them that he followed the stench from his first floor apartment into the basement where it was centralized around a sheet of tarp. On closer inspection he noticed that the tarp was saturated with blood and after lifting the sheet he discovered a mutilated human torso.
The police quickly arrived at the scene and obtained search warrants to access the second floor of the building which was rented by a man in his late twenties. There they found instruments that they believed had been used as tools of dismemberment as well as additional body parts, some of which were packed into a box near a stairwell in the building. Several locations around the apartment were tainted with the presence of blood, including the bathtub.
The suspect was identified as 29 year old Jared James Chance and the victim was feared to be a missing 31 year old female acquaintance of his from Kalamazoo (just 50 miles from the location of the crime) named Ashley Regina-Marie Young. Young had been missing since November 29th. The last time she contacted anyone via cellphone was at around 5:46AM when she sent a text message. There was no further activity on her device after that.
Ashley went missing after setting off on a trip to Grand Rapids and Chance had been seen with a female of a similar description around the time she disappeared. The last confirmed sighting of Ashely Young was at “Miss Tracy’s party store” a liquor store located at 1043 Franklin Street, South East at around 1.30AM just a two minute walk from Chance’s apartment. She was confirmed to be in the company of Jared Chance at the time. (Note: conflicting reports state that the pair was last seen around a mile from the apartment at Mulligan’s Pub in Eastow.)
The two were apparently friends on Facebook, but it is unknown if they knew each other well previous to their meeting.
The dismembered remains were later identified as Ashely Young and the cause of death was determined as “homicide by unspecified means” however .22-caliber casings were reportedly found scattered around the victim’s body. Witnesses had also saw Chance handling a .22 Caliber pistol on more than one occasion. The same neighbor who reported the body to police admitted that he felt unsafe after seeing Jared Chance with the gun; the neighbor described chatting with the suspect in his kitchen while he handled the pistol and casually told him that he knew how to “murder someone and get away with it”.
Jared’s brother, Konrad Chance, also described an incident in which the suspect held the gun up to his face and pulled the trigger multiple times; fortunately the firearm was not loaded at the time.
During an investigation into the murder, police paid a visit to the home of Chance’s parents in Holland, MI, where they recovered (what they believed was) the saw used to dismember Young’s body hidden under a couch. Barbara reportedly drove from her home in Holland to Jared’s apartment to pick him up, along with several boxes, after the crime had been committed. Police believe they were helping their son cover up the crime by attempting to dispose of the body parts and conceal the tool he used to cut up Young’s body. They believe that the suspect’s parents were fully aware that he had dismembered and mutilated the body of Ashley Young. Traces of blood and tissues (which were also found strewn around the suspect’s apartment) were present in his mother’s vehicle. His parents, James Chance, 76, and Barbara Chance, 63, were initially charged with perjury and suspected accessories to the crime. The two were held on $25,000 bonds, which were eventually posted, and were ordered to submit their passports upon release. James Chance is a former Police sergeant who was with the Rock Island, Illinois PD for 3 decades before retiring in the late eighties.
In an interview with Wood TV Chance is asked by a reporter Heather Walker “What happened” to which responds by stumbling over his words and saying “I don’t know”. When shown a heartbreaking message from the victim’s parents and asked where the missing body parts are he replies with more of the same and says “I can’t do this” before hanging up the phone and walking off.
According to this report, Chance was denied bond this week at a hearing in Kent County and has been officially charged with open murder and 3 counts of tampering with evidence. "Open murder" is a term applied to a general allegation of murder when the degree is uncertain. "Open murder" could pertain to both first and second degree murder as well as both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Premeditation, motive and additional felonies committed at the same time of the murder are elements usually found in first degree murder charges, while second degree murder is usually an unplanned murder.
Jared Chance pled not guilty to the charges brought against him.
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