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A man accused in a NC child rape case was arrested weeks after he faked his own death

Daniel Dionne on Flickr via Creative Commons

A man arrested after a weekend police chase and motorcycle crash in Georgia turned out to be fugitive accused of avoiding a child rape charge by faking his own drowning death last month in a Mississippi River kayaking accident.

St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said Melvin Emde, of Talihina, Oklahoma, had been reported missing by his son early on Aug. 7 and authorities were told at the time that Emde had fallen from a kayak while fishing and had drowned.

The search spanned two days but no body was found.

Meanwhile, investigators learned that Emde was facing charges of “indecent liberties with a child and statutory rape of a child” in North Carolina. While they immediately became suspicious that Emde faked his death to escape charges in Brunswick County, Champagne said they couldn’t take those suspicions public for fear of tipping him off.