James H. Chance, 76, and his wife, Barbara L. Chance, 63, learned from their son on Dec. 1 “that Ashley Young was deceased,’’ but failed to notify police, court records show.
The Holland couple “learned from Jared James Chance that Jared cut Ashley Young’s body into multiple pieces and hid some of those pieces,’’ court documents show.
The pair “failed to inform the proper authorities of Ashley Young’s death and dismemberment,’’ Grand Rapids police officer Kelli Braate wrote in a probable cause affidavit.
James and Barbara Chance were at the Grand Rapids Police Department on Sunday, Dec. 2 after their son was brought in for questioning. They returned to their home in Holland, “making no effort to contact the authorities in any way to inform them of Ashley Young’s death and mutilation.’’
DNA testing revealed the remains were that of Ashley Regina-Marie Young. The 31-year-old woman from Kalamazoo County’s Oshtemo Township was last seen in Grand Rapids on Nov. 29. She and Chance knew each other, friends said.
Police say they believe Young died on or about Nov. 30. Her torso was found in the basement of Chance’s home on Franklin Street SE two day later. Her death has been ruled a homicide by unspecified means.
On Wednesday, Dec. 12, James and Barbara Chance appeared together for a video arraignment before Grand Rapids District Court Judge David Buter. Each are charged with being an accessory after the fact to a felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison. They are also charged with perjury, a potential life offense.
James Chance is a retired police officer from Rock Island, Ill. Barbara Chance works as a respiratory therapist in Holland. Investigators last week searched their home on West 20th Street west of Pine Avenue in Holland.
During Wednesday’s video arraignment, James Chance told the judge he was innocent. He asked to be released on a personal recognizance bond, noting that he and his wife have no criminal history.
Buter denied the request and set bond for each at $25,000.
“I understand there is no previous criminal history that we’re aware of,’’ Buter said. “However, due to the nature of the allegations and the serious charges brought against you, I believe the bond is appropriate.’’
They will be back in court for a probable cause conference on Dec. 26.
Their son, Jared, was charged last week with mutilation of a dead body and concealing the death of an individual. The mutilation charge is a 10-year felony while concealing a death carries a five-year term.
Chance is being held in the Kent County Jail on a $750,000 bond. He has a probable cause conference set for Dec. 18 in Grand Rapids District Court.
Chance, who once lived with his parents in Holland, is also charged with being a habitual felony offender. He has a criminal record dating back to when he was 15 years old.