CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - A man accused of murdering and dismembering his roommate in Indiana in 2017 was arrested in Cambridge Thursday, the Massachusetts State Police announced.
State police said state, local and federal authorities took John Hallett, 54, into custody at his apartment on Chester Street six years after state police said he allegedly choked his roommate and struck the roommate with a blunt object.
After killing his roommate, state police said, Hallett allegedly disemboweled the roommate’s body and disposed of the remains in various public trash cans.
Neighbors in Cambridge said the operation to arrest Hallett happened around 12 p.m., with one person saying she was walking to the gym when she saw men in bulletproof vests.
“I assumed they were shooting a movie or something because this stuff doesn’t happen around here,” Alex Majetich said.
“They all seemed pretty calm and they were just only in their vests,” Majetich separately said.
As their investigation into the 2017 murder continued, state police said local authorities in Michigan City, Indiana deployed a cadaver dog which tipped them off to the scent of human remains in the basement of the residence where Hallett and his roommate had lived.
Police said authorities obtained an arrest warrant for a murder charge against Hallett after evidence “confirmed the presence of decomposing matter in the basement.”
State police said law enforcement personnel moved in and arrested Hallett shortly after learning he was living at his Chester Street address in Cambridge.
Neighbors speaking with 7NEWS Thursday afternoon were disturbed by the news.
“He looked about as normal as they come,” said Lindsay Garito, later adding “There was nothing alarming or exceptionally distinguishing about him.”
“He was calm. He just walked out of the building with a large group,” Garito said. “…The only thinking that made me feel like it was something negative was that he was in handcuffs.”
Hallett was taken to the Cambridge Police station after his arrest on Thursday and booked as a fugitive from justice. State police said prosecutors will now arrange for his rendition to Indiana to face the murder charge against him.
Michigan City is located on the shore of Lake Michigan close to the Indiana/Michigan state line.
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