Alleged killer’s girlfriend accused of cover-up
By Robert Cloud
Police say the girlfriend a man charged with robbery and murder destroyed evidence and lied to investigators.
Christine L. Santiago, 35, Bear Creek, is charged with conspiracy to obstruct the investigation of a homicide, conspiracy to aid a felon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
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.
Ozuna and Hohn allegedly picked up Matthew Pagel, 25, at his Clintonville residence in order to sell him drugs, drove him to an isolated spot, attempted to rob him, killed him in the ensuing fight, then dumped the body.
Body reported found in ditch
Santiago called 911 at 2:35 a.m. Monday, April 11, and reported finding a body in a ditch in a rural area near Clintonville.
When Waupaca County deputies arrived at the scene on Airport Road about one-tenth of a mile north of County Trunk D, they found Pagel’s half-stripped body in the ditch.
Pagel had severe injuries to his face, dried blood coming from his nose, swollen lips and significant bruising. The deputies found drag marks from the road to where the body lay.
The deputies also found Santiago, who was in a 1997 reddish-maroon Ford Taurus station wagon with her 15-year-old daughter, waiting for them.
Santiago initially told investigators that she had been returning home from work in Shawano and stopped at the Kwik Trip in Clintonville before she discovered the body while heading to her home in Bear Creek, the complaint says.
Investigators could not immediately identify the victim because they could not find his wallet or cellphone.
Shortly after 10 a.m. April 11, Pagel’s mother called Clintonville police and reported that her son was missing.
Officers spoke with Pagel’s roommate, Brenda Anderson, at the Clintonville Motel. She said she last saw him at 11:50 p.m. Sunday, April 10, as she was leaving for work.
According to the criminal complaint, she said Pagel planned to meet with Adam Martinez, also known as Adam Ozuna, in order to purchase Adderall, a stimulant used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Anderson told investigators that Pagel responded to her text message at 12:46 a.m. April 11, but her message at 2:25 a.m. was not answered.
She said she sent a Facebook message to Santiago asking if she knew where Ozuna and Pagel were. Santiago was Ozuna’s girlfriend and Anderson’s former neighbor.
Later that same morning, police received an anonymous call reporting that Hohn was bragging that he beat Pagel to death.
Police find discrepancies
When Santiago first spoke with investigators, she reportedly said Hohn and Ozuna borrowed her Taurus at approximately 1 a.m. April 11 in order to go to Clintonville.
When Hohn and Ozuna returned with the Taurus, Santiago said Hohn had no shirt and was covered in blood, the complaint says.
When they told her what had happened to Pagel, Santiago drove out to find and report the body.
Investigators interviewed Santiago’s 15-year-old daughter, who is also Hohn’s girlfriend.
The girl told Special Agent Jay Yerges, with the state Division of Criminal Investigation, that she had helped Hohn and Ozuna clean blood off the seats of the Ford Taurus.
DCI Special Agents Jeffrey Wisch and Brad Kurst interviewed Santiago’s 16-year-old son. He said when Hohn and Ozuna returned, Hohn was shirtless, his knuckles and hands were covered in blood and he had scratches on his chest and sides.
The boy said Hohn took a shower to clean up the blood.
According to what Santiago’s son told investigators, Ozuna and Hohn allegedly did not have any drugs when they picked Pagel up from the Clintonville Motel and planned to rob him.
Ozuna was the driver and Hohn sat in the back seat. Ozuna allegedly began elbowing and punching Pagel in the face, while Hohn held him from behind.
The boy said the Taurus had a pool of blood in the back seat and blood on the steering wheel and dashboard.
According to the criminal complaint, Hohn told investigators that he had lived at Santiago’s home since October 2015. He said he was hiding from police due to earlier offenses and hid in either the attic or the basement when officers came to the house looking for him.
Police say Santiago initially denied knowing why Ozuna and Hohn borrowed the Taurus, then admitted to knowing that they planned to sell Adderall to Pagel.
She also denied telling everyone in the house to wipe their cellphones and Facebook messages, the complaint says.
However, a neighbor told Waupaca County Detective Sgt. John Mocadlo that Santiago came over to her home after the police left and began calling people to tell them to “delete everything.”