BOSTON – Louis Coleman III has been charged today in federal court in Boston with the kidnapping of Jassy Correia, who had been missing since Feb. 24, 2019.
Coleman, 32, of Providence, R.I., has been charged with one count of kidnapping, resulting in death. Coleman was arrested on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Delaware and will appear in federal court in Delaware on Monday, March 4 at a time to be determined. He will be transferred to Massachusetts at a later date.
According to the charging document, after learning of the disappearance of Correia, law enforcement reviewed surveillance tape from outside of the Venu nightclub, the last place Correia had been seen by her friends, which showed Correia leaving the area and entering a vehicle with a man later identified as Coleman. Surveillance footage from Coleman’s Providence, R.I., apartment building showed Coleman, at about 4:15 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, parking and exiting the vehicle, and then returning a short time later carrying a blanket. He then walked from the car to the front of the building carrying a body with long hair and clothing consistent with the description of Ms. Correia. Once he entered the building, surveillance video showed Coleman dropping the victim on the floor and dragging her towards the elevator, and subsequently towards his apartment unit. The victim was not moving and her body was limp.
It is alleged that on Feb. 26, 2019, surveillance video from the defendant’s apartment building showed Coleman enter the apartment building with Walmart shopping bags. Law enforcement subsequently obtained video surveillance and a receipt from a Walmart in Providence, R.I., that revealed Coleman had purchased three Tyvek suits, duct tape, two candles, electrical tape, one mask, surgical gloves, two pairs of safety goggles, an odor respirator and CLN release bleach bath.
At approximately 9:58 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2019, Coleman is seen on video surveillance entering the apartment building with what appeared to be a new, large suitcase. At 1:15 a.m., on Feb. 28, 2019, Coleman is seen in the video wheeling the suitcase away from his apartment unit towards the elevator, eventually out of the building and into the parking lot where his vehicle was. Coleman appeared to have difficulty lifting the suitcase into the trunk of his car.
Additional surveillance video showed Coleman on several occasions exiting his apartment building with other items, including trash bags, cardboard boxes, a bottle of bleach, a laptop case, a computer tower and a small duffle bag.
Later in the day on Feb. 28, 2019, a search warrant was executed at Coleman’s apartment, where two packages of hooded coveralls and two respirator masks were recovered. A sofa with four large cushions, one of which was missing a cover, was also observed. In a dumpster outside of the apartment complex, white trash bags, a bag containing plastic sheets, men’s jeans with bleach stains and a belt, a white nylon hooded coverall, an empty box of baking soda, clear safety goggles, a respirator mask, duct tape packaging, rubbing alcohol, Walmart bags, used plastic gloves, an empty package from a car air freshener, three empty packages of purifying charcoal and a sponge were recovered.
On the afternoon of Feb. 28, 2019, Coleman’s vehicle was stopped by Delaware authorities on I-95 South near Wilmington, Delaware. Officers ordered Coleman out of the vehicle and asked him if anyone else was in the vehicle with him. It is alleged that Coleman stated words to the effect: “She’s in the trunk.”
Officers discovered the victim’s body in the trunk of Coleman’s vehicle, wrapped in a sofa cushion cover, which was inside of a black trash bag, inside of a large suitcase that matches the suitcase Coleman was observed bringing into his apartment on Feb. 27, 2019. The victim had significant bruising, a bloodied face, was bound with gray duct tape, and was covered in what is believed to be baking soda.
A duffle bag, a pair of new long-handled loppers, plastic garbage bags, clothing, a red plastic gas container, a green butane lighter, black gloves, charcoal air purifiers, air fresheners, tinted safety glasses, plastic Walmart bags, work towels, cloth work-gloves, a new set of DeWalt pliers, a laptop, a computer hard-drive/tower, and disinfectant wipes were also recovered in Coleman’s vehicle.
It is further alleged that photographs of the defendant’s vehicle depict a windshield that is cracked in two locations on the passenger side and a white substance, believed to be baking soda, in the trunk of the vehicle.
Coleman was taken into custody and transported to a Delaware State Police barracks. There, it was noted that Coleman had a large bandage on the right side of his face. When asked about it, he allegedly replied, “It’s from the girl.”
The charge of kidnapping resulting in death provides for a sentence of death or life in prison. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins; Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr., Delaware State Police; and Colonel Hugh T. Clements Jr., Chief of Police, Providence Police Department, made the announcement today. The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the cooperation and assistance of Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha; United States Attorney David C. Weiss, District of Delaware; and the Massachusetts State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth G. Shine and Robert Richardson of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.