Gabrielle Austin is a Louisiana teen who is accused of murdering Arizona State University engineering professor, JunSeok Chae, who went missing on March 25 and did not return home, the television station reported.
Authorities had been searching for Chae since May 11, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said.
Chae’s dead body was found July 17 at Northwest Regional Landfill in Surprise, KTVK reported.
Junseok Chae was the Associate Dean for Research at ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He had been with the university since 2005 and was beloved by his students. He also was an accomplished researcher, with four U.S. patents and dozens of published papers.
Gabrielle Austin and Javian Ezell Killed Prof. JunSeok Chae
After failing to show up for a planned Zoom lecture for students, 15 people worked 10-hour days for 48 days, scouring the landfill in a search for Chae, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $304,000.
Shreveport, Louisiana police officers contacted MCSO detectives on March 30 in regards to a suspicious vehicle with 18-year-old Javian Ezell, 18-year-old Gabrielle Austin, and a third individual.
Officers say the car belonged to Chae and statements made sure that Chae was the victim of a homicide.
The investigations led officers to learn that Chae was killed near 7th Street and Carefree Highway and placed in a dumpster by Austin and Ezell, the Arizona Republic reported.
A motive behind the murder is still unclear, the newspaper reported.
Gabrielle Austin Extradited from Louisiana to Arizona
Authorities believe the two suspects – identified as Javian Ezell and Gabrielle Austin, both 18. were in the custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, the Republic reported.
They were extradited from Louisiana to Arizona and were each charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, and vehicle theft, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Their bail was set at $1 million apiece, the Arizona Republic reported.
“I continue to be impressed by the hard work of our deputies. Their perseverance in an extremely complex and demanding case will now allow the victim’s family closure to what has surely been a difficult period. Investigative efforts to recover a body from a landfill are rarely successful”, said Sheriff Penzone in a statement.