Colin Kalmbacher, Law & Justice, October 13, 2023
A Georgia man appeared in court on Friday to face allegations before a judge that he is responsible for the death of a young woman whose body was found stashed in a parking garage across the street from the Fulton County Courthouse on a late August morning.
Ja’Keivious Arnold, 24, was formally charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, aggravated sexual battery, necrophilia, financial transaction theft, and robbery. He’s accused in the brutal killing of Mitchel Dang, 25.
A warrant was issued for his arrest on Sept. 19. He was arrested on the night of Sept. 22 in Chamblee – a medium-sized city in the northeastern Atlanta suburbs of DeKalb County.
About three weeks earlier, on Aug. 26, Mitchel Dang recorded her last vlog. She was dressed, dancing, happy, and, looking into the camera, made it known she was ready to dance some more with friends at a nightclub on Lower Alabama Street.
In comments to WXIA, Mitchel Dang’s family said police told them the victim and her assailant did not know each other.
Arrest warrants in the case obtained by WXIA allege that Arnold stole Mitchel Dang’s cellphone during the attack. He also held her against her will and killed her, according to the warrants.
During Friday’s hearing, Atlanta police Detective Jarion Shephard testified that Arnold “masqueraded as a good citizen” on the night Mitchel Dang died, offering to help her find her car before ultimately killing her.
“He insisted and persisted on helping her,” the investigator testified.
Police say surveillance footage shows the two walking around the parking garage where her body was found, nude and partially hidden under a stairwell in the basement.
“His words were as they got into the stairwell, she started scratching him,” Shephard testified. “He said he drug her down – drug her up under the stairwell, threw her on the ground [and] choked her until she passed out.”
After that, he allegedly admitted to sexually assaulting the victim. She woke up during the assault, the officer testified, and Arnold allegedly choked her again until she died, removed her clothes, and then sexually assaulted her corpse for “at least 20 minutes,” according to Shephard.
The defendant allegedly left a newspaper over the victim’s face as he left – returning once to retrieve his sunglasses and try to hide her body better, police allege. The detective said the defendant admitted to two additional sexual assaults under similar circumstances – women walking alone at night – in DeKalb County.