Man who strangled girlfriend, kept body in closet sentenced

Scott K. Jordan killed 52-year-old Jacqueline Vanduyn

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The man who admitted to strangling his girlfriend to death and leaving her body inside a plastic bag in her apartment – with frozen water bottles atop it to keep it cold – has been sentenced.

Scott K. Jordan, 46, was sentenced Tuesday in Allen Superior Court to 81 years for murder and robbery related to the death of 52-year-old Jacqueline Vanduyn. Her body was found April 25 in an apartment in the 7900 block of Decatur Road, just off U.S. 27 south of East Tillman Road. Jordan pleaded guilty to the charges last month.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Fort Wayne police were investigating the disappearance of Vanduyn and went to her Decatur Road apartment. There, the property manager told police that she’d gone to the apartment April 14 after Vanduyn’s family reported her missing, and Jordan answered the door and said she was at work, the affidavit said. The property manager said she told Jordan to leave the property and the locks of the apartment were immediately changed.

Photo of Scott Jordan
Mug shot of Scott Jordan provided by the Allen County Sheriff’s Dept.

Police then went to the Allen County Jail, where Jordan was locked up on suspicion he was involved in a pharmacy robbery. According to the affidavit, Jordan told police Vanduyn had kicked him out of her apartment in March, and she’d moved out, too, without her belongings. He said she told him to pay the April rent, and he said he forged her named on a money order, the affidavit said.

Investigators said the rent check appeared to have a different signature than Vanduyn’s previous checks did, the affidavit said.

A witness told police that Vanduyn had told him she was scared of Jordan because he had become increasingly violent and threatening toward her, the affidavit said.

At that point, an investigator said he watched daily surveillance video from the apartment complex that showed Vanduyn had a “consistent daily routine” from March 1-6, but he never saw her on the video again, the affidavit said.

A search warrant was obtained and on April 25, police and crime scene units entered the apartment. There, inside a bedroom closet and inside a black plastic bag, a woman’s body was found, the affidavit said.

The body had several bottles of water on it, and more than 20 more in a freezer in the apartment. Police noted in the affidavit that it appeared someone had been exchanging the bottles in an attempt to keep the body cold and decrease the decomposition of the body.

On May 3, the Allen County Sheriff’s Department received a call from Jordan’s mother who said he’s confessed in a letter to killing Vanduyn, the affidavit said. In the letter, Jordan reportedly wrote that he killed her by “getting on top of her and choking the life outta her,” the affidavit said.

In court on Tuesday, Vanduyn’s sister, Trena Taylor, told Judge Fran Gull she hoped the court would “show him no mercy like he showed her (Jackie). Because of his actions, our family is devastated.”

Taylor then addressed Jordan.

“I hope for the rest of your life, when you close your eyes, you see her there in that closet. I hope you never get out of prison. I hope you die in there. An eye for an eye. You deserve it.”

Gull said Jordan had shown no remorse for his actions. She sentenced him to 65 years for the murder charge and 16 years for the robbery charge. His plea agreement with prosecutors included no sentencing cap.

Jordan, who has 16 prior felony convictions and who was on parole when he committed the murder and robbery, told the court he plans to appeal.