Sheriff Greg Champagne reports that Melvin Phillip Emde was arrested by authorities in Tift County, Georgia, on Sunday, September 17, 2023.
Who is Melvin Phillip Emde?
Melvin Phillip Emde, a 41-year-old kayaker who had been reported missing, was arrested in Georgia on suspicion of fabricating his death just hours before he was scheduled to appear in court in another state on child rape charges.
On Sunday, September 17, the authorities caught him after a fast chase through Tift County in central south Georgia.
The arrest follows a multi-jurisdictional investigation lasting several weeks that involved law enforcement from four different states’ worth of local, state, and federal agencies.
How did he fake his death?
The drama started on August 7 when Melvin Phillip Emde’s son reported him missing. The Mississippi River in Hahnville, Louisiana, a town 30 miles west of New Orleans, is where he allegedly drowned after going overboard while kayaking around midnight, according to the initial reports.
Both Emde and his son, who are both from Talihina, Oklahoma, were reportedly in Louisiana at the time of the report to work on Hurricane Ida relief efforts. According to Sheriff Greg Champagne of St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, “They (the father and son) traveled throughout the southeast country working storm-related work. “.
Detectives learned that Emde’s father was due to testify in court in North Carolina on August 8, just one day after his son reported him missing, on charges of engaging in indecent acts with a child and statutory rape of a child, which further complicated the case.
“We treated this as a missing persons case, but the day after it happened we were pretty sure it was a hoax,” remarked Sheriff Champagne, although he added that detectives could not publicly reveal their suspicions to avoid tipping Emde off.
How was he caught?
A Georgia State Highway Patrol trooper made an attempt to stop a motorcycle early on Sunday, September 17, which was reportedly missing its license plate. The motorcyclist, later identified as Melvin Phillip, sped off before colliding with the ground. Then he tried to run away on foot, but police caught him.
What are the charges of Melvin Phillip?
Melvin Phillip Emde will likely be returned to Louisiana to face pending felonies, including filing a false report, after being extradited to North Carolina, according to Sheriff Greg Champagne.
According to ABC, he declared in a statement, “Now it’s time for Mr. Emde to face the music for his charges in North Carolina.”. Furthermore, the investigation is still ongoing, despite Sheriff Champagne’s suggestion that charges might also be brought against Emde’s son.
Officials withheld information about Emde’s allegations of raping a child, and it is still unknown whether he has hired a lawyer.