Monday, June 28, 2010

Entrepreneur & father of three killed - wife and employee charged in love triangle slaying

A West Goshen, Pennsylvania father of three and entrenpreneur was poisoned and bludgeoned to death with a shovel before being buried in a shallow grave next to a high school. The suspects are the victim's wife, 34 year old Morgan Mengel and 22 year old employee Stephen Shappell. The victim, according to police, is 33 year old Kevin Mengel Jr.  The suspects are 34 year old Morgan Mengel and Stephen Shappell, 22. According to the wife's Facebook page, they had been married since August 1998. The couple have 3 children.

According to officials, the plot began when Morgan and Steve began to "fall in love" at the business that the victim and Morgan ran together, M.K.B. Property Management LLC. The company does landscaping for homeowners and other property owners.

On June 17, she reportedly said, Shappell placed "some sort of drug" in a lemon Snapple, which Morgan Mengel then left on the hood of the pickup truck for Kevin Mengel to find. No one else who worked at the business drank Snapple, she reportedly told police, and she knew Kevin Mengel would drink it.

A short time later, according to court documents, she received a text from Shappell that said he had struck Kevin Mengel in the head with a shovel.

She reportedly asked if he was serious and he replied, "Dead serious." She then asked if there was a "pulse," police reports said, to which he replied "Get down here now." Morgan Mengel reportedly told police that Shappell told her he buried Kevin Mengel's body approximately 150 yards behind Marple Newtown High School, where he had been a student.

The beginning of the end for Morgan Mengel and Shappell's freedom came on Father's Day, when Kathleen Barton reported her son missing. She noted that her daughter-in-law told her that she had seen Kevin move out of their West Goshen, PA apartment on June 18. Still suspicious, Kathleen monitored her son's Facebook page and told West Goshen detectives about the affair. After her son's Facebook page was updated in a different style than he would use on June 23, detectives went to the victim's apartment.

While Morgan gave police the same story that she gave her mother-in-law, detectives saw the victim's clothes and toothbrush in the apartment. After being taken to the police station for an interview, Morgan Mengel admitted the affair and the murder.

According to West Goshen Police Department Chief Michael J. Carroll, "Normally a report of a missing person who's a 33-year-old adult male is sometimes not taken as seriously because they have the absolute right to be missing, they can go wherever they want to go. During the course of the week it became clear to our department that this was more than just a missing person case."

 We were able to identify and locate the victim by the use of a cadaver dog that was brought to us by the Search and Rescue Dogs of Pennsylvania in Malvern. I can tell you without the use of this dog, we would not have been able to find this body.

It's a very tragic case. The victim was the father of three children. Obviously the children have lost their father and with what has gone on so far they're going to lose their mother for an extended period of time.

Shappell was arrested in Denver the evening of Sunday, June 27. Carroll said "This was a direct result of cooperation between departments. It was through an investigation here. We knew where to look for him."

It is unknown what charges he'll face when he is extradited to Pennsylvania, but Morgan Mengel will be facing 1st degree murder and criminal homicide.

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