(DailyVantage.com) – A man from Oklahoma faked his own drowning death in Louisiana the day before he was due in court in North Carolina. On August 7th, Melvin Emde was reported missing by his son. The son told police that Emde had fallen from his kayak in the Mississippi River during a fishing trip and drowned.
The search for Emde lasted for two days. Authorities used sonar, divers, drones, and a small boat to search for Emde with no results. The St. Charles Parrish Sheriff, Greg Champagne, said that they became suspicious of Emde’s disappearance once it was discovered that he was facing serious charges in Brunswick County, North Carolina. The 41-year-old man from Talihina, Oklahoma, was due in court the next day for charges including indecent liberties with a child and statutory rape of a child. Champagne said he knew they couldn’t reveal their suspicions or risk Emde being “tipped off”.
Further investigation revealed that Emde was wearing an ankle monitor as a condition of his bail. This led to the discovery that Emde had purchased two burner phones from a Walmart in Butte, LA. Authorities from North Carolina, Louisiana, and the U.S. Marshall Islands collaborated to track the prepaid phones. Only one of the phones was used very briefly.
On September 17th, a Highway Patrol officer attempted a traffic stop on a motorcycle with no tag. The motorcycle fled and eventually crashed. The driver then tried to run on foot but was caught and arrested. After a fingerprint scan, it was revealed that the driver was Melvin Emde, even though he had given a false name to the police.
According to Champagne, Emde will be extradited to North Carolina to “face the music” on his charges in Brunswick County. Emde now also faces felony charges in Louisiana for filing false reports and injuring public records.
The investigation is ongoing, and it is not yet known if Emde’s son will be charged with any crimes related to the incident.
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