Missing Massachusetts Man Found Dead in Basement Freezer

On Dec. 2, police discovered the body of a missing person, 37-year-old John Wayne Potter, who the family identified. Two roommates have been charged with kidnapping concerning Potter’s murder and are accused of holding him against his will inside their Coburn Street home.

Unidentified Third Person

Since Thanksgiving, John Wayne Potter has been reported missing. Potter’s body was discovered in the suspect’s home a day after local police issued a missing person alert for him. Michael Burke, 38, and Samantha Perry, 38, are suspected of attacking and restraining him before his death.

According to Lowell Police Superintendent Barry Golner and District Attorney Marian Ryan, evidence in the home indicated that the man had been restrained at some point.

The couple claims that on Nov. 23, an unidentified person pointed a gun at them and strangled Potter with a rope. He moved Potter’s lifeless body into the basement freezer after killing him, where it remained for more than a week, according to a people.com report. 

On Monday, Dec.  5, Burke and Perry were scheduled to appear in Lowell District Court. It was unclear whether they had decided to enter a plea or if they had a lawyer who could speak on their behalf.

Family Trauma 

John Wayne’s murder is not the first in the family. Tabitha Potter was found raped, strangled, and partially buried in a park in Lowell in 1999 for more than two decades. Her killer, a house painter,  committed suicide a few days later.

Donna Potter, John Wayne’s stepmother, expressed shock that the family was going through the same ordeal. When she discovered Potter was missing, she had the uneasy feeling that something was wrong, a source posted. 

Potter’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with his funeral expenses. In the fundraiser, he was recognized as an incredible man who was full of love and had a smile that could brighten up the entire room.