Highway Horror: Troopers Discover Body, Arrest Ensues
On Tuesday, Iowa troopers encountered a disturbing scene while assisting a stranded car on the highway, discovering a deceased individual in the passenger seat. Jihad Abdul Malik Gasaway, 23, is facing charges of murder and abuse of a corpse, despite his assertion that the person had been alive just moments before the police arrived, according to the state’s Department of Public Safety.
Gasaway was attempting to restart his stalled 2010 Chevrolet Malibu on the side of the highway in Malcolm around 8 a.m. when troopers arrived to offer assistance. In an affidavit obtained by Law & Crime, it was revealed that Gasaway requested a jump and admitted possessing a 9 mm gun.
Upon closer inspection, the troopers observed a second man in the passenger seat covered with miscellaneous clothing. The man, identified as 26-year-old Kemp Xavier Sherrod Harriel, was unresponsive and appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds. A 9 mm shell casing and two expended bullets were discovered in the car.
Gasaway was taken into custody and expressed concern for the victim’s well-being while placed in the patrol car. During interrogation, he claimed that he and Harriel had left Cedar Rapids for Des Moines that morning. Gasaway explained that he covered up his friend because he believed he was very cold and wanted to keep him warm.Read:Surge in North Korea-Russia Rail Traffic Sparks Concerns
Gasaway initially claimed Harriel was alive until he saw the police reaction, at which point he realized the victim had passed away. Later, he admitted to driving the Malibu into a ditch earlier that morning when Harriel was still alive, stating, “We got into it.”Read:Surge in North Korea-Russia Rail Traffic Sparks Concerns
An investigation determined that Harriel had been fatally shot twice in the chest, as the state Medical Examiner’s Office ruled. Gasaway is held at the Poweshiek County Jail on a $50,000 bond.