MARIETTA, Ga. – A Cobb County grand jury has indicted Brad Clement for concealing a death of another and making a false statement, in connection to U.S. Army veteran Chase Massner's death.
While Clement sat inside his jail cell, 11Alive took a deeper look inside his friendship with Massner, who went missing three years ago.
Clement was the last known person to see Massner alive, according to Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.
March 27, 2014
He is last seen at his friend, James Bradshaw "Brad" Clement’s house on Farmbrook Lane in Kennesaw, Ga.
The young father is reported missing by his wife, Amanda Massner, and mother, Stephanie Cadena.
Amanda tells 11Alive that her husband has struggled returning to civilian life after serving a year in Iraq and returned in 2011. She says that her husband had been through some tough times since returning from his tour in the Middle East.
"Since he got back, he's had ups and downs with struggling with his mental stability," Amanda tells 11Alive in a 2014 interview.
Amanda says Chase had reached a low point late the week that he went missing, she said, and went away to visit Clement, "to get some space."
"We've all been out for hours and hours with flashlights, just walking basically trying to see if we see him," Amanda says.
Chase is last seen wearing a red sweatshirt and khaki pants. He is 6'2" and weighs around 175 pounds. He has tattoos on his arm of a treasure chest, an angel and the name “Massner.” He has a chest tattoo of two roses on the right pectoral muscle.
"No matter what it is that he is going through right now, his family loves him, no matter what; and we are here for him, and we just want peace of mind that he is OK; and that he is safe. We want to help him, and we went to be with him, and we want to get through this together," Amanda says.
June 28, 2014
Nearly 200 volunteers search for the missing father of two, who vanished without a trace. Family and friends gather at Shiloh Baptist Church, not far from where Chase was last seen.
June 13, 2015
Search groups in the hunt for missing soldier Chase say an "area of high interest" was found.
Missing in America, a group from New Jersey, and Guardian Angels have joined the effort. The groups organize a search that begins over the weekend and runs through June 16, 2015.
A spokesperson for Missing in America says searchers found garments and a tent near a cliff. These are processed to see if they are in any way related to Chase.
"What you are looking for if you're looking for a deceased person, what you're looking for if you're looking for a live person, you really have to get out there, hit the ground running, and you have to put your hard, sweat work into it," Missing in America founder, Nancy Schaffer says. "And that's what we do."
"Everybody needs to understand that Chase, he's a son, a husband, a father," family friend Christine Lemoine tells 11Alive in 2015. "And he's a friend to a lot of people, especially being a veteran, and his extended family has missed him greatly, and we all just really want to be able to bring him home, so that there's closure there for his family."
Schafer says the New Jersey group has seen success finding people who have been missing – sometimes for decades. They researched Chase’s case for weeks before retracing his last known steps, plus several other undisclosed locations, using hundreds of searchers, dog teams and experts on horseback.
"One of the main things that brought us into the Chase Massner case is the dedication that everyone has put forth to find him," says Sheilangley Lugo of Missing in America. "A lot of people have come together to search for him."
Chase receives an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army.
April 3, 2017
Chase’s mom talks face-to-face for first time to Clement on CrimeOnline host, Nancy Grace’s podcast.
Nancy: And we now introduce Stephanie Cadena to Brad Clement in her search for her son Chase Massner.
Nancy: Stephanie, what you have been waiting for … Brad, the last person that as of right now, we know last saw Chase alive.
Cadena: What was the last thing Chase said to you? When was the last time you talked to him?
Clement: The last time I talked to him, I mean we were just talking about him and Amanda pretty much.
As the interview continues with Clement, he agrees to take a lie detector test and talks about more his friend.
“He was a really happy guy,” Clement tells Grace. “Like I never saw this, you know, bipolar, crazy, mean… you know, that Amanda would kind of paint to me about it from the couple of times I talked to her.”
Clement: "She asked if he was really suicidal and its like why is she asking me this when she knew him better than I did."
Amanda, Clement says in the interview, didn't seem frantic that Chase was missing--rather, he says, it seemed like she was more concerned that she might get in trouble for something.
Aug. 1, 2017
Human remains are found at the home where Chase was last seen at.
Cobb County Police recover human remains at Clement’s former Kennessaw, Ga., home, located at 500 block of Farmbrook Trail, after the new homeowners noticed something suspicious in their backyard.
Detectives remove the remains.
Police say that they believe the remains are Chase’s—however, a positive identification has not yet been made by the medical examiner.
Aug. 2, 2017
Chase’s mother delivers dental records to the Cobb Medical Examiner's office to assist in identifying the remains found.
The remains’ identity nor cause of death are released. Police decline to say if a criminal investigation had started.
"We had been told that there had been numerous searches there. Everything had been searched," says Tammy Childs, a friend of the missing man. "I believe that it shouldn’t have taken three years for this to be done."
Furthermore, Childs says, she's convinced the remains are her friend’s.
Aug. 4, 2017
Clement agrees to surrender to police after he is charged with concealing a death.
Aug. 5, 2017
Cobb County Sheriff's Office releases a "BOLO," or "Be on the lookout" for Clement, while Chase’s family urges him to turn himself into police.
Family friend, Christine Lemoine, of Marietta, Ga., said that was when his family thought they could start moving towards justice. But that was short-lived.
Lemoine, a spokeswoman for the family, said the new developments—finding remains, charging Clement—were a step in the right direction, and now, they have taken two steps back with Clement on the lam.
“It’s almost back to square one, if you think about it. Now, they have nothing,” she says. “From day one the understanding that everyone had, is that the last person to see Chase alive is Brad Clement.”
Chase’s mother takes to social media, pleading with Clement, urging to do the right thing.
“Yes it’s 3 a.m. and NO I’m not asleep! Brad Clement, for God’s sake, STOP! You spoke to me face to face and even hugged me! If you’re not guilty face us and show us the truth! You love your Mother and Chase Massner loved me! But Chase is no longer here to speak, you are! Please step up and do the right thing!!!
"This woman's not sleeping. She's lost her only son and she wants answers," Lemoine says. “If he is watching the news at any time, he needs to turn himself in.”
She shares a message of her own on behalf of the Massners to Clement.
“He keeps saying he isn't guilty, that he's been framed. But if you haven't done anything wrong, then show your face. Come forward.”
Aug. 8, 2017
Clement’s car is spotted at his mother’s DeKalb County home.
Aug. 10, 2017
Clement arrested at a shopping center parking lot.
He was arrested at a shopping center on N. Druid Hills Road by the Cobb County Police Department's fugitive squad and U.S. Marshals Thursday.
DeKalb County Police were on standby.
Aug. 11, 2017
Clement makes first court appearance.
The medical examiner's office is still working to confirm if the remains found are Chase’s. But, on Friday, they did give 11Alive the following statement:
"We are currently working with the Department of Defense to acquire any records that will assist with confirming his identification."
Aug. 24, 2017
After nearly a month, the remains found in Kennesaw, Ga., have been positively identified as Iraq War veteran, Chase Massner’s.
His mom, Stephanie Cadena, told 11Alive the last three years have been an uphill battle in an effort to bring her son to peace.
“It's been an agonizing three-plus years to fight for Chase, he was recovered on Aug. 1--24 days ago and positively identified today! Now, we can begin to plan a proper funeral for Chase our son, husband and father! The next step is to prosecute the man being charged in this case!”
The Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Office completed positive identification of the human remains through dental record comparison and confirmed those findings.
“It has been determined that the remains are those of 26-year-old Chase Tyler Massner,” Cobb County Police Sgt. Dana Pierce said in a statement.
Clement's arraignment has not been scheduled.