The body of a former contestant on the reality TV show “Bridalplasty” was found buried in a shallow grave in the backyard of a man who confessed to killing her with a hammer, police and family members said.
They had been searching for Lisa Marie Naegle since Sunday morning, when she told her husband she was going to get something to eat after a friend’s birthday party, but never returned home.
Police think the nursing instructor and reality TV contestant was having an affair with the man accused of killing her, according to the Torrance Daily Breeze.
During a day-long interrogation Tuesday, Jackie Jerome Rogers, one of Naegle’s nursing students, said she had told him she was going back to her husband of five years. Rogers told investigators he struck her in the head with a hammer seven times, the Daily Breeze wrote, then dragged her body to his backyard.
Rogers, 34, was in jail Wednesday. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
When Rogers led police to Naegle’s body Tuesday, it ended days of speculation about what happened to the reality show contestant.
Naegle and her husband, Derek Harryman, were featured on the E! show “Bridalplasty,” which lasted just one season.
On the show, several women live in a mansion together and compete for their dream wedding – and a surgically enhanced body to go with it.
With each victory in a wedding-themed challenge, the contestants “get to undergo the surgical procedure of their choice, all in an effort to look like the ‘perfect’ bride just in time for the big wedding day,” according to a Washington Post review in 2010.
Naegle made it to episode seven, two away from the finale. She and Harryman were married on July 31, 2011, according to his Facebook page.
But the drama continued after the show. There were allegations of an affair with Rogers, even as she and her husband were reportedly going to a fertility doctor to try to have a baby, according to TMZ.
Rogers was a suspect in Naegle’s disappearance from the start. He was the last person seen with Naegle on video shortly after the birthday party, and a friend sent photos of the pair at the party.
Naegle’s brother, Rafael Chavez, told the Daily Breeze that he feared Rogers had kidnapped or harmed his sister, and that her body might be somewhere on his expansive property on West 106th Street.
“They gotta search this guy’s house,” Chavez said. “We don’t want to think the worst, but we don’t know what he did with her. Hopefully, she is alive and well.”
Family members and friends also used social media to draw attention to Naegle’s disappearance, creating the Facebook page “Finding Lisa Marie Naegle.”
They also confronted Rogers with the video.
“We went, and we looked at the film, and she left with him,” Chavez said. “He told everybody he left without her.”
Naegle’s sister, Danielle Naegle-Kaimona, told KABC-TV that the family “begged and pleaded that he’d come to our home to kind of give us details on what time, where were things, and when he left her, but while he was talking to us and telling us his story, multiple different times he said he absolutely did not go home with her, or did not take her home.”
When Rogers was confronted with the video showing Naegle getting into his car, he changed his story.
Suspicious about the inconsistencies, the family called police, bringing the search closer to its conclusion.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Cleve R. Wootson Jr.