You've got to be pretty low and desperate to pull a stunt like Melvin Phillip Emde. Embe went kayaking one day and never returned home. His family, fearing the worst, reported him missing then, presumed he was dead.
People reports that Emde's son Seth reported him missing on Aug. 7. Seth told authorities his father had gone overboard and drowned while kayaking in the Mississippi River near Matis Road in Hahnville, Louisiana, approximately 30 miles west of New Orleans, Champagne said.
"They (the father and son) traveled [throughout the] southeast country doing storm-related work," the sheriff told USA Today on Tuesday. Emde is from Talihina, Oklahoma, and the two have been in Louisiana since Hurricane Ida in 2021.
According to the the press release, the day after learning about the missing kayaker in August, detectives discovered Emde had pending charges of indecent liberties with a child and statutory rape of a child by an adult in Brunswick County, North Carolina. He was due in court that same day.
This made authorities suspicious and they decided to dig a little deeper into what Embe previously had going on.
“We immediately became quite suspicious that this may have been a faked accidental drowning and death in order for Mr. Emde to escape charges in Brunswick County, North Carolina,” Champagne said Monday. “However, we could not publicly expose our suspicions for fear of tipping him off.”
Detectives in St. Charles Parish spoke with authorities in North Carolina and found out that, at the time he went missing, Embe was wearing an ankle monitor because he was on house arrest until his court hearing.
This was just the lead that detectives needed. They followed the coordinates of his ankle monitor around the time he went missing and discovered he'd made a few stops. The first stop was to a WalMart in Boutte, Louisiana. While at the WalMart, Embe bought two prepaid cellphones then made two short calls.
Detectives stayed on the trail, following it to Oklahoma, until they noticed the phones were no longer in use.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, a Georgia State Highway Patrol officer initiated a routine traffic stop for a motorcyclist who did not have a license plate, St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office said.
The driver attempted to flee but then crashed the vehicle and was taken into custody after also trying to escape on foot, according to the sheriff's office.
The man was captured and gave police a fake name however, once he was fingerprinted, he was positively identified as Embe.
Embe will be detained, and monitored, until his court dates in multiple states. At this time, it has not been made known whether his family played a part in his disappearance or if he has obtained legal counsel.