Armed with nothing but a name and a general location, I began my online search. The first thing that came up was a picture of the man I’d met, and a headline in a Phoenix New Times article reading, “Alan Champagne Charged in the Deaths of Two People Found in Backyard Coffin.” The story was dated March of 2013. The article went on to fill in the following details.
In October of 2011 (two years after I’d been at the home to view the Scarab), Phoenix detectives received a tip that a double homicide may have taken place at an apartment complex not far from the mother’s home. Alan had lived in the apartment around that time and court documents showed he had been involved at some point in an aggravated assault at that same address. In March of 2012 SWAT came to arrest Alan for the assault. At that point, Alan took hostages and barricaded himself inside his mother’s home (where the Scarab had been), firing over 20 rounds at detectives and SWAT when they arrived to arrest him. At that point he was taken into custody and jailed for attempted first-degree murder murder of all the agents he had fired on and a variety of other charges.
Based on a tip the detectives had received, they believed Alan was also responsible for a double homicide as well, but no bodies had been found, so he couldn’t be charged. Sometime after that Alan was imprisoned for attempted murder, his mother’s home was foreclosed on by the bank and she was forced to move out. Eventually the new owner, who bought the home at public auction, moved in and began refurbishing the property.
In March of 2013, while landscapers were doing work for the new owner, they unearthed a wooden box in the backyard with two mummified bodies, a man and woman. Police believed the bodies had been there since being murdered in June or July of 2011. The bodies turned out to be a man and his girlfriend, missing since the summer of 2011. The man was the brother of a woman Alan had two children with. The man had been upset that Alan had cheated on his sister and he apparently confronted him. The altercation escalated, resulting in the murder of both individuals. Alan was held on a million dollar bond, pending his trial. He is being held on over 50 counts, and could be sentenced to more than 40 years in prison for the assault and the firefight. If he’s ever released, which is very unlikely, he’ll be nearly 85.
So while I’m sure you can appreciate me coming face to face with a “serial killer” in 2009, what you’re really all wanting to know is what ever happened to Scarab #160? The whereabouts of all the cars at the house was unknown. My guess was that everything at the home had been hauled off or disposed of so the bank could sell the house and recoup its money. Though I never gave up hope of finding the car, my detective work had yielded only dead ends. From 2009 to 2016, I continued the hunt, and tried to keep my dream of Scarab ownership alive – while looking over my shoulder.