Ingrid Lyne’s frantic mother was texting the man who authorities say sawed her daughter into pieces and stashed them in a recycling bin.
John Charlton played the part of concerned boyfriend during an exchange with Jorga Bass—until she mentioned the law.
“A police officer needs to speak to you as you may be the last person who saw her,” she texted Charlton, according to a Seattle Police statement of probable cause report filed in a Seattle-area court Tuesday.
Charlton never replied.
Bass’s daughter had mysteriously vanished on April 8 after supposedly going on a date with Charlton at the Seattle Mariners home opener. The following day, Lyne, 40, was supposed to be home to take care of her three daughters when her ex-husband dropped off the 12-year-old, 10-year-old, and 7-year-old girls.
He knocked but “nobody answered the door,” the document says. Lyne’s 2015 silver Toyota Highlander was gone and she “did not answer” his repeated calls. Her mother arrived shortly thereafter and unlocked the front door. Not only was Lyne not home but her phone, purse, and computers were all safe and sound.
The family called police and managed to connect with a friend and former roommate of Lyne’s who confirmed she “was going to the Mariners’ game with ‘John’ Friday night,” according to the police document.
Bass, who shares a cellphone plan with her daughter, discovered there had been a number that kept popping up when she reviewed the phone activity. Lyne’s sister and Bass each did a little digging and found it belonged to Charlton.
The mother then began texting Charlton about Ingrid’s whereabouts.
“My name is John, I thought she was with her kids today,” Charlton wrote back.
“When did you see her last?” Bass fired back. “She’s not here, her phone is here and driver’s license and purse but she’s not, please respond, I’ve called 911.”
That grabbed Charlton’s attention.
“911? What’s going on? We went to the Mariners’ game last night but we didn’t stay the night together because she has her kids today… not sure what she has told you about me and our relationship.”
Bass may not have known how close he and her daughter were, but she pleaded for his help regardless.
“She’s missing. What time did you see her last?”
And then he went mute after she said the cops needed to speak to him.
“Can you please call me? I know your name is John Charlton so please call me.”
Still no response.
“Please John, did Ingrid say anything about someone coming to see her after you separated from her last night? We can’t find her or her car. As I said her phone ID and purse are at her house but she and her car are gone without a trace. Any help would be appreciated. We are desperate. She would never just go off and leave her family.”
The tear-jerking text seemed to have no effect on Charlton.
When Seattle detectives arrived at Lyne’s home, they found her bathtub splattered with blood and beside it “found a 15-inch pruning saw.”
Cops tracked Charlton down to Lake Stevens, Washington,, on Monday and found multiple abrasions on his forehead, an “injury to his lip and to his chin,” and “scratches to his chest area and an abrasion on his left hand.”
According to the police report, Charlton waived his Miranda rights and admitted he had been dating Lyne for a month and “spent the night at her residence on previous occasions.”
But not on Friday night, he claimed.
Charlton claimed he was too sloshed to remember what happened after the Mariners ball game. “Charlton claimed that he had been so intoxicated on Friday night but failed to explain how he and Lyne returned to the residence… and said Lyne was acting ‘weird,’” before being unable to shed any more details.
Somehow the couple had sex, or at least Charlton “believed” they did.
Charlton apparently was able to get Lyne to give him a lift back to Seattle “where, he claimed, he slept on the sidewalk,” the police report confirms. Charlton then crashed for the weekend at an ex-girlfriend’s house in Lake Stevens.
The day before, cops were summoned to 21st Avenue in Seattle where a homeowner returning from an out-of-state trip went to collect the trash and recycling bins he’d left outside.
As he began wheeling the bins from the curb, he noticed the recycling bin was uncharacteristically heavy.
“He noticed there was weight in the recycling container and emptied the contents onto the lawn,” police wrote.
The man was shocked when he peered at three “translucent” plastic bags and “could see a foot inside one of the bags.”
The owner dialed 911 and responding cops made a “small incision” in one of the bags. They found a human foot, head, an arm with a hand, a lower leg, and foot, all of which “showed no signs of decomposition.”
When reached by The Daily Beast, the homeowner only said:
“I can’t get into that anymore, man.”
And not long afterward cops were able to track down Lyne’s silver Highlander parked downtown.
Charlton, who goes by “Johnnie” on Facebook, has a long rap sheet including aggravated robbery, felony theft assault, and “additional arrests for Battery,” according to the report. Charlton was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 1997 and misdemeanor battery in 2009 in Idaho. He was found guilty of marijuana possession in 1997 but the charge was deferred upon completion of a drug program, according to the Seattle Times. Charlton was also convicted of theft in 2009, according to Montana Department of Corrections records.
Charlton is being held on $2 million bail in King County jail.
Meanwhile, a Renton woman whose children go to school with Lyne’s daughters launched a GoFundMe page for them that has raised more than $105,000 as of Wednesday evening.
“Many have help spread the word looking for this mother and now the worst has come true,” wrote Melissa Korda, the fundraiser’s organizer. “Ingrid left behind many that loved her, but most importantly her 3 daughters are now without a mother. It is heartbreaking to think of the journey ahead for this family.”
Editor’s Note, 4/16/2016: This story was updated with a new total for the GoFundMe campaign.