A 47-year-old man was charged Friday in the horrific deaths of his ex-wife and two other people in New Mexico.
Sean Lannon is already in custody in New Jersey for allegedly beating to death a 66-year-old man in the state with a hammer and allegedly admitted to killing another 60-year-old man in New Mexico, but has not been charged with that death. .
He also claimed to have killed 11 other people in New Mexico, but police have said there are no records of missing persons in the area or other police reports indicating there are more potential victims.
Lannon allegedly shot his ex-wife, Jennifer Lannon, 39, at the home they lived in while married in Grants, New Mexico, after he claimed she was having an affair with Jesten Mata, from 40 years. The couple divorced in 2019.
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He told police that his ex-wife and Mata had given their children drugs to make them fall asleep. He said that after Mata left, Jennifer started to panic because she thought the children were dead.
According to the affidavit, Lannon claimed Jennifer tried a heroin overdose and said she couldn’t live without the children. He said he still had a pulse, so he shot him in the head. He told authorities that he planned to commit suicide, but then he heard one of the children scream and lower the gun.
Lannon told investigators that he put Jennifer’s body in a container and placed it in the backyard.
He said that a week later he lured Mata back to the house using his ex-wife’s phone and allegedly shot and killed Mata after he showed Lannon a sexually explicit photo with one of Lannon’s children. Police said there is no evidence that Mata had sexual photos with the children.
A week after that, Lannon said he killed 21-year-old Matthew Miller, who claimed he had sold drugs to his ex-wife and to Mata.
Lannon allegedly dismembered their bodies with hand saws and knives and placed them in plastic containers.
At first, he allegedly lied to officers, telling them that the three had escaped with a bag of drugs. His friends also unknowingly helped him move the containers along with his other belongings to Albuquerque in mid-February, according to court records.
The remains of Jennifer Lannon, Mata and Miller were found in early March inside a pickup truck in a parking lot at the Albuquerque airport. The body of the truck’s owner, Randal Apostalon, 60, was also found. Lannon allegedly told police that he killed Apostalon after asking him for help moving the containers and money.
In New Jersey, Lannon is charged with breaking into the home of 66-year-old Michael Dabkowski in the Philadelphia area and beating him to death with a hammer. He claimed that Dabkowski had sexually abused him as a child and said he went to the house to retrieve sexually explicit photos of the two. That claim is being investigated by prosecutors.
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Dabkowski’s body was discovered on March 8, three days after the remains of the other four were found in New Mexico. Lannon was driving Dabkowski’s car when he was arrested by US Marshals on March 10 in St. Louis, Missouri. Authorities are not sure why he was in the state.
Sean Lannon had been awarded sole custody of the couple’s three children in 2019 and his ex-wife was only allowed supervised visitation out of concerns about the possibility of neglect due to prescription drug abuse, court records show.
Family members say Sean Lannon flew to New Jersey in early March with the couple’s three children: 6 and 7-year-old girls and a 4-year-old boy. He left them with relatives, claiming that he would return to look for his ex-wife. Her family was already concerned, saying that it was not like her to leave without telling Soemoen.
The couple lived in New Jersey before moving to New Mexico.
Associated Press contributed to this report.