Victim’s body found in ditch
By Robert Cloud
Two men have been charged with killing Matthew Pagel, whose body was found in a ditch at about 2:30 a.m. Monday near Clintonville.
Zachary T. Hohn, 16, Tigerton, and Adam J. Ozuna, 24, Bear Creek, are each charged with first-degree intentional homicide and robbery with use of force.
A motorist called 911 in the early morning hours of Monday, April 11, and informed the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office that she saw what she believed to be a body in the west ditch of Airport Road.
Deputies responded to the scene where they found a man’s body in the ditch about one-tenth of a mile north of County Trunk D.
The deceased had injuries to his face, dried blood coming from his nose, swollen lips and significant bruising to the side of his face and eye socket.
The deputies also found drag marks from the road to where the body lay.
Waupaca County deputies and agents with the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation spent most of Monday at the scene gathering evidence.
At about 10 a.m. Monday, Clintonville police received a call from Pagel’s mother. She said Pagel was missing and provided a description of him that matched that of the body.
Pagel’s roommate at the Clintonville Motel told Waupaca County investigators that she last saw Pagel at 11:50 p.m. Sunday, just before she left for work.
She also said she received a text message from Pagel indicating that he was meeting with Adam Martinez, which police say is an alias used by Adam Ozuna. The alleged purpose of their meeting was so that Pagel could buy Adderall.
Security video from the motel showed a red/maroon Ford Taurus wagon leaving the parking lot shortly after 1 a.m. Monday.
The Ford Taurus matched the vehicle that the woman who reported finding the body had been driving. Her 15-year-old daughter was a passenger in the car when deputies arrived at the scene. The daughter is also Hohn’s girlfriend, according to the criminal complaint.
On Monday morning, Clintonville police also received an anonymous call from a woman who said Hohn was bragging that he beat Pagel to death the night before.
DCI agents questioned the woman and her daughter at the woman’s home in Bear Creek. The woman said when she returned home from work, Ozuna and Hohn told her they needed her car to go to Clintonville. They left before 1 a.m. Monday.
The daughter said when Ozuna and Hohn returned with the car in the early morning hours, Hohn was covered in blood.
Ozuna and Hohn allegedly picked up Pagel at the motel, attempted to rob him, killed him in the ensuing fight, then dumped the body.
The woman and her daughter asked them where the body was, found it in the ditch and called 911.
According to the criminal complaint, Hohn told investigators that they picked up Pagel at the Clintonville Motel in order to rob him. Ozuna drove the car, Pagel sat in the front seat and Hohn was in the back seat.
Hohn reportedly said Ozuna told him to hit Pagel and he threw the first punch. He then allegedly held Pagel while “Ozuna repeatedly elbowed him in the face with great force until he was just barely gurgling,” the complaint says.
They pulled onto Airport Road and Ozuna pulled Pagel’s body onto the roadway, investigators say. Hohn became concerned that the body should not be left in the middle of the road, so he allegedly dragged the body into the ditch.
The two suspects drove away, then realized that they had not taken Pagel’s cellphone which contained text messages from them. They returned and took the cellphone, police say. They also kept Pagel’s jacket and his $200, which was later turned over to the police.
Both men face life in prison if convicted of first-degree intentional homicide.