Troopers responding to a stalled car on an Iowa highway this week discovered a man’s body slumped in the passenger seat hidden under clothing and arrested the driver, who had requested a jump start from officers.
According to police, the driver, Jihad Abdul Malik Gasaway, 23, was booked on $50,000 bail into the Poweshiek County Jail on m*urder and abuse of a corpse charges in the de*ath of Kemp Xavier Sherrod Harriel, 26.
On Tuesday morning, Iowa State Patrol responded to reports of a stranded Chevrolet Malibu on Interstate 80 near mile marker 187. A trooper discovered Gasaway attempting to restart a stalled vehicle.
Troopers arrived at the stalled car and found Gasaway standing outside.
According to the document, he told the officers he needed a jump and that he had a gun, a Taurus 9 mm p*istol, which turned out to be the mur*der weapon.
“Upon further investigation, another male was located in the front passenger seat of the vehicle,” according to the report. “The male was covered with miscellaneous clothing and was not responding to the troopers.”
According to the affidavit, Gasaway did not call 911 for medical assistance or to report that someone was dea*d in the car.
He was said to have covered the body with clothing in order to conceal it.
According to the affidavit, Gasaway allegedly told investigators at the sheriff’s office that he and the victim had left Cedar Rapids for Des Moines early that morning.
He claimed he covered the victim because “I thought he was very cold” and “kept him warm because we were both cold,” according to the document.
“I didn’t realise (victim) was gone until I saw the cops’ eyes and read his lips.” That’s when I burst into tears in the car. He was awake and speaking to me.”
At 6:01 a.m. that morning, a vehicle was reported in a ditch along I-80 near mile marker 205. Investigators also learned that the 2010 Malibu had been in a ditch while driven by the suspect sometime before stopping near mile marker 188, the affidavit said.
When asked if the victim was alive when the Malibu went into the ditch, the suspect allegedly said, “Yeah.”
When asked what happened to the victim, the defendant said, “We got into it.”
Investigators discovered a 9 mm shell casing on the front floorboard and two expended bullets in the front passenger door while searching the Malibu. According to the affidavit, the casings came from the gun troopers had taken from the defendant.