Court document: Man found dead in lake bought drugs from accused killer

One of the men accused of stabbing and hiding the body of a Fitchburg man reportedly sold him drugs, according to a court document.

In the criminal complaint charging Rudy Ramirez-Milian with party to first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the death of 23-year-old Jacob Payne, authorities claim Payne bought cocaine from Ramirez-Milan in two controlled-buy transactions.

Payne’s body was found in shallow water just off Governor’s Island in Lake Mendota on April 11. Ramirez-Milian and Juan Aguilar-Vargas, 27, of Madison, were charged last week in connection with Payne’s death

According to a criminal complaint News 3 obtained Tuesday, there was trauma to Payne’s head when he was found in the lake. Stab wounds were observed on Payne’s head and through his jugular vein, the complaint noted.

The criminal complaint alleges that Ramirez-Milian, 27, of Waunakee, told a detective that he was with Payne and a man he knows as “Juan” (identified as Juan Aguilar-Vargas) at the garage at 4260 Acker Road on the night of April 7 when Payne refused to leave. Ramirez-Milian told the detective Payne pulled out a knife and Ramirez-Milian grabbed for the knife, struggling with Payne. The two fell to the floor with Payne under Ramirez-Milian, when Ramirez-Milian reportedly got the knife from Payne and stabbed Payne in his left shoulder less than 10 times. Ramirez-Milian said Aguilar-Vargas grabbed another knife, stabbed Payne in the throat, and hit Payne in the head with a heavy object.

Payne stopped moving and Ramirez-Milian believed Payne was dead. The men then brought Payne’s body to Lake Mendota to dump it in the lake off Governor’s Island. Ramirez-Milian told detectives that Aguilar-Vargas took the body into the water with the steel I-beam and chain. The two men returned to the shop to clean it, the criminal complaint said.

Officials said Payne was working as a confidential informant for the Department of Criminal Investigations and has purchased cocaine from Ramirez-Milian at the 4260 Acker Road garage on two occasions for authorities in the weeks prior to Payne’s death.

On Monday officials said three more men were arrested in connection with Payne’s death.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Though the complaint spelled Ramirez-Milian’s last name slightly differently than the original reports as Milan and Millan, Dane County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Elise Schaffer confirmed to News 3 that his name is correct as Milian.