Body found in trunk ID'd as NJ veteran

In this Oct. 14, 2010 photo, military veteran Dardar Paye sits in his family's home in Maplewood, N.J. Paye found was found dead in the trunk of a car following a police chase on Sunday, January 16, 2011.

January 17, 2011 8:41:08 PM PST
The body of a man found in the trunk of a car after a police chase over the weekend has been identified.

Trenton police say the body is that of 33-year-old Dardar Paye of Maplewood. He died from an apparent gunshot wound.

The discovery was made after a police pursuit that crossed two states early Sunday morning.

It all began just before 1:00 a.m. when Trenton police officers say they saw three vehicles speeding in the area of South Clinton and Hamilton avenues; a silver Mitsubishi, a grey four door Buick and a white minivan.?

Officers tried to pull them over, but all three vehicles took off.

The chase crossed state lines onto Route 1 in Pennsylvania.

Eventually the Buick came to a stop near the Oxford Valley exit, but the driver of the vehicle - identified as Phobus Sullivan, 27, of Trenton - fled on foot. He was soon caught, however, by the responding detective.

The passenger of the vehicle, identified as Mack Edwards, 25, of Trenton, was also arrested.

In the process of the arrest and investigation, Paye's body was found in the trunk of the vehicle.

"The one subject blurts out to the New Jersey police officers 'I had nothing to do with the guy in the back,' so they go to the back of the car, nobody's in the backseat of the car, they only saw two people get out, so they check the trunk and they find a body," Lt. Henry Ward of the Falls Township Police Department said.

Paye's body had a bag wrapped around the head where he had been shot.

Paye of Maplewood was in the process of being deported for his convictions on drug and weapons charges.

Meanwhile, after travelling at over 100 mph, the third vehicle of suspects was stopped in South Philadelphia along Interstate 95 after police put spike sticks in the road and the minvan's tires blew out. The occupants of the van - identified as Danuweli Keller, 23, and Abdutawab Kiazolu, 22, both of Trenton - were arrested.

However, the silver Mitsubishi exited Route 1 at Route 13 and was able to get away from police.

All four arrestees were detained in Pennsylvania and are awaiting extradition to New Jersey.? At this time, none of the suspects have been formally charged with homicide.

Records show three of the suspects lived in the same house on Locust Street in Trenton. The fourth lived down the block.

Neighbor Gwendolyn Douglas told Action News she was surprised to hear these men might be invloved in murder and said they are "nice guys."

All four are being held on a $5-million each in Bucks County on charges related to the chase and could face murder charges in New Jersey. Police are also guarding a house on Monmouth Street in Trenton connected to the case, but they won't say how.

Anyone with information concerning this ongoing investigation should contact the Trenton Police Confidential Tip Line at (609) 989-3663.

Victim featured as military vet in trouble

Dardar Paye has been in the news before. He was featured in an October, 2010 AP article about immigrants facing deportation despite military service.

At the time, the AP reported that Paye was appealing his deportation case to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Paye came to the U.S. from war torn Liberia as a 13-year-old. He joined the Army in 1998, serving in Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Fox and then in a NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. He returned to New Jersey, where his family lives, to spend another year and a half with the Army National Guard.

In 2008, he was convicted of six weapons-related offenses, including two involving firearms dealing, and served time in federal prison.

"When I was in Kuwait, in Kosovo, I was like everyone else who was there, putting their lives on the line," said Paye, who in the Army was an armored vehicle crewman. "Now I feel like they just used me for what they wanted, and now they're throwing me away."