He faces charges of indecent liberties with a child and statutory rape.
September 19, 2023, 1:59 p.m.
A missing Louisiana kayaker has been arrested for faking his own death by drowning in an apparent attempt to avoid rape charges, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Melvin Phillip Emde, 41, was arrested by Georgia authorities more than a month after his son, Seth, allegedly reported him missing.
Emde’s son reportedly told police that his father fell out of a kayak and drowned while on the Mississippi River in Hahnville, Louisiana, according to the St. Parish Sheriff’s Office. .Charles.
After being reported missing, detectives learned that Emde was facing charges of indecent assault of a child and rape of a child by an adult in North Carolina. He was scheduled to appear in court just one day after being reported missing, authorities said.
“We immediately suspected that this may have been a faked drowning and accidental death in order for Mr. Emde to escape charges in Brunswick County, North Carolina. However, we did not We could not publicly expose our suspicions for fear of warning him.” » St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said in a statement.
The sheriff’s office discovered Emde was wearing an ankle monitor as a condition of bail. Further investigation revealed that Emde had purchased two prepaid phones at a Walmart on the day of her alleged drowning, the sheriff’s office said.
St. Charles Parish sheriff’s detectives worked with North Carolina authorities and the U.S. Marshals Service to track the phones. Police said Emde only used one of the phones and turned it on for short periods of time.
Detectives initially focused their search on Oklahoma until it became apparent the phones were no longer in use.
On Sunday, a Georgia State Highway Patrol officer attempted to stop a motorcycle because it did not have a license plate, but the motorcycle fled and ultimately crashed.
The driver tried to flee on foot but was taken into custody. The driver gave police a false name, but it was discovered to be Melvin Emde when he was fingerprinted, according to the sheriff’s office.
“Now is the time for Mr. Emde to face the charges against him in North Carolina,” Champagne said in a statement.
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