After facing allegations of child rape in North Carolina, Melvin Philip Emde, 41, of Talihina, Oklahoma, allegedly attempted to fake his death in a kayaking accident.
Emde was supposed to appear in court on charges of indecent liberties with a minor and statutory rape of a child on the day he vanished.
On August 7th, Emde’s son reported him missing after hearing that their father had drowned while kayaking and fishing on the Mississippi River at Hahnville, Louisiana. The report states that sometime after midnight, he went overboard and drowned.
Authorities spent two days looking for him. However, officials could not locate Emde’s body after using divers, sonar gear, and a rescue boat.
Sheriff Greg Champagne of St. Charles Parish said they immediately became skeptical and that this may have been a fabricated drowning by Mr. Emde to evade criminal charges in North Carolina.
Unfortunately, “we couldn’t go public with our suspicions without giving him a heads up,” Champagne said.
Since his body didn’t turn up, they treated it like a missing person’s case and assumed he had drowned in the river. It seems like a beautiful “concoction” was hatched, but unfortunately, most don’t work.
The authorities tracked down Emde on Sunday as he rode a motorcycle through Georgia. Around 3:30 in the morning, a local Highway Patrol officer spotted a motorist operating a vehicle without a license plate.
Emde attempted to outrun the police car but eventually collided with another vehicle and crashed. He tried to flee on foot, but the authorities swiftly apprehended him.
Emde gave police officials a bogus name, but fingerprint scans revealed his true identity.
State detectives were notified once authorities learned of the charges against Emde. The investigators verified Emde’s use of an ankle monitor while out on bail. His purchase of two prepaid cell phones from a Walmart in Boutte, Louisiana, was uncovered by the police.
U.S. Marshals aided in the search for the missing phones.
On Tuesday, Champagne said that charges would also be filed against Emde’s son and that the investigation is ongoing.