Details of Disappearance
Aaron was last seen in Coatesville, Pennsylvania at 3:00 p.m. on October 30, 2008. He left his home in the 40 block of Chester Avenue to walk to his community service assignment at the Community, Youth and Women's Alliance in the 400 block of east Lincoln Highway. He has never been heard from again.
At first authorities treated Aaron's case as a runaway, but as time passed and no one heard from him, they began to investigate other theories. There were several reports that Turner was harmed or killed after his disappearance, possibly because he owed money to somebody. Authorities searched a landfill for his remains, but nothing was located.
Authorities searched the home of LaQuanta Chapman in November 2008. He lived across the street from Aaron's residence, and his cousin, Bryan Byrd, was visiting from New Jersey. Photos of Chapman and Byrd are posted with this case summary.
During the search, police found firearms, marijuana, a trash bag containing the dismembered body of a dog, trash bags containing bloody clothing, and two bloodstained chainsaws that smelled like human remains. Chapman and Byrd were both charged with several weapons and drug violations, and Chapman was also charged with cruelty to animals. When interviewed after his arrest, Chapman said the blood was from the dead dog, and that Aaron had never been at his home.
DNA testing on the items recovered from Chapman's home revealed that the blood was Aaron's. Aaron's DNA was also found on a bloodstained jacket, which had a bullet hole with a bullet fragment still attached. Human hair and tissue were found on the chainsaws, and Aaron's and Chapman's DNA were found on a pair of sneakers and a t-shirt.
Byrd told police Aaron had come to Chapman's home and he'd seen Chapman force Aaron to walk into the basement at gunpoint. Chapman told Byrd to go upstairs and turn the music on as loud as possible. After Byrd had turned up the music, he went downstairs and saw Chapman and another man force Aaron to remove his clothing. Once he was completely naked, they forced him to lie on the floor and then shot him to death.
The motive for the murder was reportedly a dispute over drugs. According to Byrd, Aaron's body remained in the basement for five days after his death. Chapman and Boyd then dismembered it with a chainsaws. Chapman then shot his pit bull to death and used the same chainsaws to dismember the dog's body, in an effort to disguise Aaron's DNA on the tools. They put Aaron's body parts in trash bags and put them out on the curb for collection.
In June 2009, Chapman and Byrd were both charged with homicide, aggravated assault, conspiracy, abuse of a corpse and possession of instruments of a crime. Byrd pleaded guilty to the lasser charges of third-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and abuse of a corpse. He agreed to testify against Chapman at his trial. He was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.
Byrd identified the second shooter in the basement Michael Purnell. Purnell has never been charged in connection with Aaron's death. Chapman was convicted of Aaron's murder in 2012 and sentenced to death, but in 2016 his death sentenced was overturned and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Aaron was in the eleventh grade at Coatesville Area Senior High School when he disappeared; his family stated he was an honor student with perfect attendance. He was also taking auto mechanics classes at the Center for Arts and Technology in Brandywine, Pennsylvania.
He had been in minor trouble with the law prior to his disappearance, and had to perform community service and wear an electronic monitor. He was on the way home from his community service program when he disappeared.
Foul play is suspected in Aaron's case due to the circumstances involved. His body has never been recovered.