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Two Americans indicted for grisly murder of Canadian English teacher

Two Americans have been indicted for the murder of Canadian English teacher, two accomplices face charges of aiding and abetting

Meyer (left), Bent (right).

Meyer (left), Bent (right). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Two Americans have been indicted for the gruesome murder and dismemberment of a Canadian English teacher in August, announced the New Taipei City District Prosecutor's Office yesterday (Dec. 6).

Prosecutor's yesterday indicted Oren Shlomo Mayer, 37, and Ewart Odane Bent, 30, for the murder of 43-year-old English teacher-turned drug dealer Ryan Sanjay Ramgahan on Aug. 21, as well as for the destruction and abandonment of his corpse.

On Aug. 22, Ramgahan's badly mangled body was discovered abandoned on an embankment of the Sindian River near the Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei City's Yonghe Distrct on Aug. 22. Within three days after the incident, prosecutors had arrested Bent and 21-year-old Taiwanese-Canadian Wu Hsuan (吳宣), the latter for his suspected role in purchasing the machetes used in the murder.

However, police found that the main suspect, Mayer, had fled to the Philippines, where a manhunt was coordinated between the Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Philippine National Police. Mayer was eventually captured on Sept. 5 at an apartment in Cainta, Rizal Province, and on Sept. 17, he was extradited back to Taiwan.

On Oct. 18, a fourth suspect, a 46-year-old American English teacher named Jason Eugene Hobbie, was arrested for his alleged role in helping the murder suspects burn the evidence of their ghastly deed. Hobbie allegedly purchased gasoline used to burn evidence of the crime and is currently being held incommunicado.

Police found that Ramgahan and Mayer had known each other for some time, with the former frequently selling marijuana to the latter, who, along with Bent, eventually started selling the illegal drug as well. However, as many of their customers started to be arrested by police, Mayer and Bent started to suspect that Ramgahan was an informant, and allegedly plotted to murder him.

In August, Mayer allegedly instructed Wu and Hobbie to buy machetes, fireworks, and gasoline used in the crime. Mayer then asked Ramgahan to meet him at the Zhonzheng Riverside Park, where he and Bent allegedly choked him with a metal wire and dismembered his body with machetes, before dumping the remains in the Sindian River.

Because prosecutors believe that the cruel means used by all four suspects used in the murdering and dismembering of Ramgahan had a negative impact on Taiwan's societal and international image, they requested the court to impose the heaviest penalties possible. Wu and Hobbie are being charged with aiding and abetting Mayer and Bent in committing the gruesome murder.