Man arrested after faking his own death to avoid rape charges

A 41-year-old Louisiana man facing rape charges in North Carolina went missing after supposedly falling out of a kayak on the Mississippi River. His son even allegedly reported that he had drowned. And the "tragedy" happened to take place the day before his court date.

But a month later, police in Georgia — who were already suspicious about the kayak story — arrested a man who crashed a motorcycle without plates — and discovered he was the same "dead man," except this one was alive and well.

Melvin Phillip Emde, who had pending charges of "indecent liberties with a child and statutory rape of a child in North Carolina," according to ABC News, might have thought he had found a way out. But police were actually on to him from the start. 

"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. However, we could not publicly expose our suspicions for fear of tipping him off," said Sheriff Greg Champagne of St. Charles Parish in a statement. "Now it's time for Mr. Emde to face the music for his charges in North Carolina."

From ABC News:

The sheriff's office discovered Emde was wearing an ankle monitor as a condition of bail. Further investigation revealed that Emde purchased two prepaid phones at a Walmart on the day of his alleged drowning, the sheriff's office said.

St. Charles Parish sheriff's detectives worked with authorities in North Carolina 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. …

The driver attempted to flee on foot but was taken into custody. The driver gave police a false name, but it was discovered that he was Melvin Emde when he was fingerprinted, according to the sheriff's office.