A gang of vigilantes have been accused of kidnapping a drug dealer and dismembering him with a machete in a bid to “rid the world of evil”.
Three men from Kentucky, including two former Marines, have been arrested and charged with the kidnap and murder of 19-year-old Daniel Delfin.
They are also charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence, and are being held at Boone County Jail without bail.
Investigators claim the accused killers, 21-year-old Jeffrey Allen, 22-year-old Stephen Harkness and 23-year-old Anthony Baumgartner, have admitted committing the crime as part of their plan to “cleanse the world”.
The trio are accused of luring the unsuspecting victim to Ohio under the pretence of buying drugs, before choking him and dumping his body in a field.
Authorities say the group, who were arrested on Tuesday, later used a machete to cut up Delfin's body.
“They were going to rid the world, perhaps one person at a time, of the evil in it,' Sheriff's spokesperson Tom Scheben said.
Delfin, who was a convicted heroin dealer, is believed to have been killed on January 9 but wasn’t reported missing until this Sunday.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that officers investing Delfin’s disappearance received a tip linking him to the three men.
While searching a field next to Allen’s home in Verona, Ohio, officers later found Delfin’s dismembered torso, identifying it from a tattoo.
After learning that Delfin’s head, feet and arms had been thrown in rubbish bins behind the Super Eight Motel in Florence, Ohio, police searched a local landfill, but failed to find any more remains.
The Daily Mail reported that, according to records, Allen and Harkness served in the US Marine Corps, but the former had been discharged dishonourably.
Baumgartner is thought to be the only one of the three suspects to have a criminal record.
He was reportedly arrested for cocaine possession and possession of drug paraphernalia one month after his 18th birthday in 2007.
In 2009 he is said to have pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to 60 days in prison and two years’ probation. Later that year he was accused of carrying a concealed weapon, but the charge was later dismissed.
According to WKRC, a detective who spoke to the men shortly after their arrest testified about their confession in a preliminary hearing yesterday.
The detective said that Allen told him how he and his accomplices picked up Delfin at his house under the pretence of a drug deal.
Once he was in the car, Allen allegedly strangled the 19-year-old as they drove to a home on Mesmer Lane in Verona.
By the time they reached their destination, Allen told the officer, Delfin appeared unresponsive.
The group attempted to wake him up, but when they were unable to Allen said he slit the man's throat and stabbed him in the heart, twisting the blade as he did so.
According to the testimony, Allen said that he and the two other men drove Delfin's body to a field and covered it with earth and sticks. They are said to have returned several days later to dismember the body using a machete.
According to the detective, the murder was part of a plan hatched in July last year.
Allen reportedly told the detective said that his goal was to get Delfin to reveal the name of his drug supplier, and then go after him.Reuse content