A police officer who warned his wife of his suicide plan actually faked his death and fled to Mexico, Texas officials said. An affidavit issued Friday revealed that Coleman Martin, a 29-year-old police officer with the Austin Police Department, texted his wife a few days ago a photo of a note expressing his intention to commit suicide by drowing himself in a lake near the border. However, according to an ABC News report, later the authorities were contacted by a woman who received an email from Martin explaining that he left his car by the lake.
The woman, who is said to have had a close relationship with Martin, even showed investigators the email that he sent her after the alleged suicide. Reportedly after Martin faked his death, he then cycled to a store, took a taxi to the border, and entered Mexico by bus.
Texas authorities are now looking for Martin after he pretended to commit suicide. A report from KXAN states that the Austin Police Department has issued an arrest warrant and filed a criminal charge of false alarm or report, a class A misdemeanor, against Martin, who police believe is still alive.
The Austin Police Association is now apologizing to a half dozen agencies for wasting resources on a false alarm and issued the below statement regarding the matter.
“On behalf of the Austin Police Department, I would like to apologize to those groups that had to take their time and endanger their lives to search for this person,” Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday said in a statement to the press.
Casaday also said the feeling at the police department went from sadness to anger.
“He was trying to scam the system,” he was quoted as saying.
“His friends on the department and all of the officers are very disappointed with his actions.”
This bizarre story began with Martin sending a photograph to his wife along with a note stating that he intended to drown in a lake near the Mexican border. To fake his death, he withdrew $300 from an ATM on April 25 and bought a raft at a sporting goods store. Records show that shortly after buying the raft, he purchased gas for his vehicle then paid for clothes and concrete blocks from a Home Depot store with his debit card.
On the night of his disappearance, the alarm was given and investigators soon learned that Martin had been stopped by a trooper hours earlier and had told the trooper that he was going to Mexico on vacation. The next day they found Martin’s vehicle by the lake, with a suicide note and his wallet, but not his passport. On the shore a few miles from where his vehicle was found, investigators found a raft with marks that indicated that a concrete block had been pushed over on one side.
Subsequently, they discovered that someone from Mexico had accessed his email account after leaving the suicide message to his wife. In addition, they learned that Martin had a relationship with another woman, who informed the authorities that he had not committed suicide and that “everything that happened was intended to recreate his own death.” According to this woman’s statement, Martin sent her an e-mail explaining that he had left his car at the lake and then cycled to a store. From there, he took a taxi to the border and entered the neighboring country aboard a bus.
Martin continues to be wanted by Texas authorities and any updates will be posted to this column as they are made available.
[Featured Image by Bob Levey/Getty Images]