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'Serial killer' faces fifth murder charge related to abandoned car full of bodies

Sean Lannon, 47, is now being charged in connection with four deaths total

A suspected serial killer accused of murdering his ex-wife and two others in New Mexico and bludgeoning a man to death in New Jersey has now been charged with a fifth murder of a man he allegedly enlisted to help move bins filled with his other victims' dismembered bodies.

A months-long investigation spanning several different states led Albuquerque police to charging Sean Lannon, 47, with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Randall Todd Apostalon, 60, on Tuesday.

A criminal complaint states that Lannon hired Apostalon in February to help him move some boxes into storage. At the time Apostalon was apparently unaware that the boxes were filled with the cut up bodies of Lannon's ex-wife Jennifer Lannon, 39, Matthew Miller, 21, and Jesten Mata, 40, of Grants, Albuquerque.

'Sean became desperate to move the bodies from where he had them hidden to a more secure place, while he arranged to leave New Mexico with his children,' the complaint reads.

Lannon and Apostalon couldn't find a storage space, so they went to the Pearl Apartment Complex, where Lannon and his children were staying with a friend. When Apostalon told Lannon to get the bins out of his truck, Lannon began clubbing him in the face with a hammer until he died.

Lannon then parked his car near a dumpster in the parking garage of Albuquerque International Sunport airport.

Police were notified of a pungent smelling car a day later and discovered Apostalon's body in the front seat with tarp draped over it, along with the boxes containing the bodies of Lannon's other victims.

A months-long investigation spanning several different states led Albuquerque police to charging Sean Lannon, 47, with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Randall Todd Apostalon, 60, (pictured) on Tuesday

Lannon was charged in March with the murder of his ex-wife Jennifer (above together)

The bodies of Matthew Miller (left) and Jesten Mata (right) were found in Apostalon's car

The four bodies of Lannon's victims were found in a car at the Albuquerque airport on March 5 (pictured)

Family members told the Albuquerque Journal that Apostalon was a 'good hearted' man and a storyteller who loved to crack jokes and was especially fond of puns.

His brother Mark Apostalon said his brother had struggled on and off with drugs, but had recently started the journey of eliminating substances from his life 'for good.' He added that his brother was 'a kind soul taken too early in this life,' the outlet reported.

Lannon was first charged with the murder of Jennifer Lannon, Matta and Miller in March about a week after investigators searched a house where he, his ex-wife and their children lived in Grants, about 80 miles west of Albuquerque.

Lannon was charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the three deaths, as well as kidnapping to inflict death in relation to the two victims who were not his ex-wife. 

NJ.com reported that Mata and Jennifer Lannon were in a relationship. Authorities have said Jennifer Lannon, Miller and Mata were friends, and Apostalon and was known to give rides for money.

Sean Lannon is pictured with his ex-wife Jennifer before her death in March

Lannon remains in custody in New Jersey on charges stemming from Michael Dabkowski's killing, which include first-degree murder, burglary, robbery, and theft.

He is accused of breaking in to the 66-year-old's New Jersey home, just south of Philadelphia, and beating him to death with a hammer, according to an affidavit.

Lannon told investigators that Dabkowski had sexually abused him as a child when he was a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters and that he had gone to the home to retrieve sexually explicit photos.

Investigators have not said if they've uncovered any sexually explicit photos to corroborate Lannon's story.

Dabkowski's body was discovered March 8, three days after the remains were found in New Mexico.

Lannon allegedly stole the man's wallet and was driving Dabkowski's car when he arrested March 10 in St. Louis. Authorities are not sure why he was in Missouri.

At the time, he was considered only a person of interest in the New Mexico slayings and detectives from Albuquerque travelled to St. Louis to interview him before he was extradited to New Jersey.

Assistant deputy public defender Ronald Appleby has declined to comment on the New Jersey charge.

Following his arrest in March, Lannon also claimed that he had killed an additional 11 people, all of them drug dealers, in the area of Grants, New Mexico, reported NJ.com.

Prosecutors said in court that Lannon told a family member in a phone call that he had dumped the bodies of his supposed victims at an oil refinery in Jamestown where he had worked, and inside lava tubes located near the town of Grants.

The relative told investigators he expressed remorse for his actions.

Lava tubes are cave-like underground passageways, also known as pyroducts, which were created by lava flows thousands of years ago, when the area around Grants was a hotbed of volcanic activity.

Lt. David Chavez, of the Grants Police Department, said in April that investigators have yet to find any evidence of the additional murders, but they are looking into it by combing through missing persons records and other police reports to try to identify any potential victims and determine if Lannon was telling the truth during the confession.

Sean and Jennifer Lannon lived in New Jersey and married around eight years ago before moving to New Mexico for Sean's job in 2017 - before he filed for divorce.

Court records related to the couple's divorce and custody case showed that Sean Lannon was awarded sole custody of the couple's three children in 2019 and that a protective plan from the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department included only supervised visitation by their mother over concerns at the time about the potential for neglect due to prescription drug abuse.

Pictured: The New Jersey home where Michael Dabkowski, 66, was allegedly beat to death

Lannon is accused of bludgeoning to death Michael Dabkowski, 66, his former mentor, claiming he had molested him as a child 

Relatives say Sean Lannon flew to New Jersey in early March with the couple's three children - 6- and 7-year-old girls and a 4-year-old boy.

He took them to his parents' house and left again, saying he was going to look for his ex-wife, whom he claimed had run off with friends. Her family became worried, saying it wasn't like her to be without her children.

When Sean Lannon left New Jersey, he took ride share services to Virginia, then returned to New Jersey, where he broke into one home in Elk Township before heading to Dabkowski's house.

In the Elk Township break-in, Lannon was charged with burglary and possession of a weapon.

It's not clear what Lannon was doing in Virginia.

The children are now in the case of Jennifer Lannon's family, which has raised over $19,000 on GoFundMe for their care.

When Lannon previously confessed to committing 16 murders, he claimed he dismembered several people at his New Mexico home, according to NJ.com.

'He admitted to killing a total of 16 people... 15 being in New Mexico and one in the State of New Jersey,' said Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Alec Gutierrez.

Lannon served in the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2003 and received an honorable discharge from the military.

WPVI reports Lannon has a history of drug abuse and a violent record.

His lawyer argued for a pre-trial release in connection to the New Jersey murder, but was rebuffed by the judge.

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