Nathan Carman arrested for ‘murder on high seas’

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 3:07 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A Vermont man suspected of murdering his mother in a leaky boat in 2016 and then trying to collect insurance has been charged with her death.

After years of wrangling in the courts, Nathan Carman, 28, of Vernon, was arrested Tuesday by federal authorities and charged with an eight-count indictment, according to federal authorities.

Carman was found adrift in a life raft 100 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in 2016 after his boat sank during a fishing trip with his mother. The body of Linda Carman was never found. At the time, Carman was rescued, he explained to authorities what he said happened: “I brought the safety stuff forward. I was bringing one of the safety bags forward and the boat just dropped out from under my feet. When I saw the life raft, I did not see my mom. Have you found her?”

 Nathan Carman-File photo
Nathan Carman-File photo (WCAX)

According to a federal indictment announced Tuesday, Carman in 2013 also shot and killed his grandfather, John Chakalos at Chakalos’ home in Windsor, Connecticut. The indictment alleges that both killings were part of a scheme to obtain money and property from the estate of Chakalos and to defraud the company that insured his fishing boat, “The Chicken Pox.”

Multiple authorities have taken part in the investigation including the FBI and the Coast Guard. According to the Brattleboro Reformer, investigators were seen searching Carman’s home in Vernon Tuesday. It’s still not clear why it took six years for the feds to move forward with the criminal indictment.

Federal agents execute a search warrant at Nathan Carman's home in Vernon Tuesday.
Federal agents execute a search warrant at Nathan Carman's home in Vernon Tuesday.(Kristopher Radder/Brattleboro Reformer)

In 2019, a federal judge in Rhode Island decided that Carman contributed to the sinking of the boat, issuing a decision in favor of an insurance company that had refused to pay an $85,000 claim to Carman.

Chakalos’ three surviving daughters sued Carman in New Hampshire probate court, seeking to bar him from receiving any money from Chakalos’ $29 million estate. A judge dismissed the case in 2019, saying Chakalos was not a New Hampshire resident. The probate case was refiled in Connecticut, where it remains pending.

If convicted of murder, Carman faces mandatory life imprisonment. He’s due to be arraigned in federal court in Rutland Wednesday afternoon.

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