Missing man’s body found after arrest of friend accused of killing him, Maine cops say

A body discovered in New Hampshire was identified as a 34-year-old man whose family reported him missing from Maine last May, according to Maine State Police.

Alex Jackson’s remains were located in Stark, New Hampshire, on April 19, nearly one month after a man was arrested in his death on March 29, state police said in an April 22 news release.

Joseph Chute, a 30-year-old resident of Leeds, Maine, is facing a murder charge, according to state police.

Chute was a friend of Jackson’s, WMUR-TV reports. The last known sighting of Jackson was at Chute’s home in Leeds before his disappearance in May, according to the TV station.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Shannon Moss confirmed to McClatchy News on April 23 that the men “were familiar to each other.”

How Jackson died and exactly where his body was found hasn’t been made public as of April 23. State police said further information “will be released when it’s appropriate to do so.”

Chute’s arrest came after he reportedly informed others that he had a role in why Jackson went missing, his defense attorney Verne Paradie told the Portland Press Herald.

Paradie told McClatchy News on April 23 that Chute “maintains his innocence in this matter and the fact that Mr. Jackson’s body was reportedly found does not change this fact.”

The details of Jackson’s disappearance

Jackson’s family found it unusual when they hadn’t heard from since May 12, and reported him missing to police in Windham, where he lived, two days later on May 14, according to state police.

He was believed to have been traveling with his dog, possibly toward Vermont, when he disappeared, the Windham Police Department said in a May 15 news release, McClatchy News previously reported.

That evening, Jackson’s sister posted on Facebook that his dog Hazel, a husky and Labrador retriever mix, was found without Jackson off a road in North Yarmouth, about a 40-mile drive southwest of Leeds, where Chute lives.

Chute’s hometown is about a 90-mile drive southeast of Stark, New Hampshire, the region where Maine State Police said authorities located Jackson’s body.

Chute is accused of killing Jackson in Maine, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said in an April 22 news release.

His body was recovered during a search involving several agencies, including Maine State Police, the Windham Police Department, the Maine Warden Service, New Hampshire State Police and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, authorities said.

The medical examiner’s office in Concord, New Hampshire, positively identified the remains as Jackson over the weekend, Maine State Police said.

Paradie previously sought to have the charges against Chute dropped, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Paradie told McClatchy News that “We have been provided no evidence indicating the manner of Mr. Jackson’s death or that there is any further evidence proving Mr. Chute was responsible.”

He said “the only details we have is that the body was located” and that “we have been provided with only speculation as to Mr. Chute’s involvement in this unfortunate event.”

Documents related to Jackson’s death and Chute’s arrest have been sealed, Moss told McClatchy News.

On Jan. 21, Jackson’s sister shared a Facebook post that marked 37 weeks since he disappeared.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my brother and how much I miss him,” Kayla Jackson wrote.

On April 22, the Windham Police Department wrote on Facebook that “While not the outcome we all hoped for, Alex will be returned home to his family and the community.”

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