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Jasmine "Jazzy" Pace: Missing College Student Found Dead

jasminepace

A Life Cut Short

The body of the missing 22-year-old Chattanooga State Community College student, Jasmine “Jazzy” Pace, was discovered along Suck Creek Road in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on December 1st. This gruesome discovery came just one day after her boyfriend, a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student named Jason Chen, was arrested and charged with first degree murder in Pace’s death.

Jasmine Pace, born on May 29, 2000, was a Chattanooga native. She’s described by loved ones as having been a thoughtful, generous and supportive person, as well as a devoted aunt and godmother. Additionally, Pace was an animal lover and had four cats of her own, all of whom she was said to have “loved as if they were her own children.”

Pace was last seen on surveillance leaving her mother’s home on the evening of November 22. Shortly after this, her family did not hear from her again. Though it was unusual for her not to be in contact with her family, they initially didn’t find it to be a cause for concern, believing that she had left to go privately grieve the recent death of a relative.

However, as more time went on with no word from her, her mother, Catrina Pace, was becoming very worried and decided to track Pace’s vehicle using the MyChevyApp.

She had texted her location to her mother on November 23 via a pin drop. The app led Catrina and her husband to the Signal View Condominium Complex at 900 Mountain Creek Road, where they found her daughter’s abandoned vehicle nearby.

They spoke to multiple residents in the condominium and learned that Jason Chen, Pace’s boyfriend, lived there. Chen’s neighbors also reportedly heard shouting coming from his apartment at around 2 AM on the morning of November 23. A cursory look around Chen’s empty apartment led Catrina Pace to discover her missing daughter’s credit cards and driver’s license.

Jasmine Pace was reported missing on November 26.

The building’s surveillance footage shows Chen walking out wearing a mask and with a black cloth wrapped around his hand. When he was later arrested, it was discovered that his hand was covered in lacerations.

Police obtained a search warrant and showed up at Chen’s building on November 27. Their search turned up unsettling signs of an altercation, such as broken glass and traces of blood in the living room, bathroom and bedroom.

A forensic blood enhancer called BlueStar would reveal even more blood traces in several locations around the apartment. It’s believed that Chen, who had recently purchased cleaning supplies, had attempted to clean the crime scene.

The couple, who met on a dating app, had only been together for a few months.

Accused killer Jason Chen with his attorney

Accused killer Jason Chen with his attorney

Strange Personality

According to Chen’s former classmates, he had a habit of assuming the identity of fellow students online and reaching out to others, ostensibly for the purpose of extracting personal information about them, under the guise of being their close friend.

One such former classmate, Addie Raymer, was quoted as saying, “It just basically felt like he was trying to delve more into my life.” She went on to add: "His personality is just very off. He’s not very good at social cues and things like that.”

This detail is relevant due to the fact that, although Pace’s phone showed no activity in the days following her disappearance, her social media accounts were still active. A Facebook post from November 26th which reads, “Enjoying Thanksgiving with my baby!!” was posted from Pace’s account, but is now believed to have actually been posted by Chen himself.

Vigil held for Jasmine Pace

Vigil held for Jasmine Pace

A Devastated Family

Catrina Pace, who described her daughter as having been “the biggest and best part” of her, gave the community her heartfelt thanks for their efforts in locating her daughter.

A vigil was held in Jasmine’s honor on December 5th, in which her family and friends spoke of what she meant to them.

“Even if she's gone her light continues through us to finish her job, to keep making it a bright place,” said Travis Pace, Jasmine’s father.

Chen's Arrest

Jason Chen, who had been held without bond at the Silverdale Detention Center since his arrest, made his first court appearance on December 6th. Chattanooga defense attorney Josh Weiss is representing him. Catrina Pace reportedly had to be held back by her husband, Scott Bean, to prevent her from lunging at her daughter’s accused killer. “He’s going to have to face me,” she told her family.

Bond Hearing

Chen had his bond hearing on December 9th, during which the judge set his bond at $5 million. Should he make bond, he'll have to live under house arrest.

Disturbing details came out during the hearing, such as the fact that Pace had been stabbed 60 times and that her remains had then been shoved into trash bags and placed inside a suitcase.

Zach Crawford, the lead detective in this case, had this to say about what he saw in Jason Chen's apartment: "it was the largest amount of blood" he'd ever seen at a crime scene.

Chen's next hearing is set for February 16th, 2023.

Sources

"Missing woman Jasmine Pace found dead—boyfriend charged with murder," Yarin Steinbuch, NY Post, December 2, 2022

"Jasmine Nicole Pace--Had A Generous and Thoughtful Nature and Loved Animals," Chattanoogan.com, December 6, 2022

"What happened to Jasmine Pace?", Aaratrika Bal, Sports News, December 4th, 2022

"Authorities: Woman stabbed 60 times, remains found in suitcase," WTVC Staff, UpNorthLive ABC, December 9, 2022