AUSTIN, Texas (KDKA) — An Austin police officer is facing charges after investigators looking into his disappearance said he staged his own death.
Investigators said Coleman Miller Martin, 29, is believed to now be in Mexico, according to CBS Austin. Because of the vast resources used to attempt to locate him, he is now facing a Class A Misdemeanor charge of False Alarm or Report.
The initial investigation began when Martin’s wife called 911 on April 25 to say the man was suicidal and had been depressed about family issued for a few days. Throughout the day, Martin sent his wife texts saying he was going to leave for a while to clear his head. That night, he sent her a photo of a handwritten suicide note that stated he intended to drown himself in a lake near the border of Mexico.
The affidavit states Martin withdrew $300 in cash at around 11 a.m., purchased gas at 11:15 a.m., purchased a raft and received cash back at 11:17 a.m. He then purchased food at a Wendy’s at 3:50 p.m. A debit card transaction from a Home Depot also showed items purchased included rope and concrete blocks.
At 11:50 p.m., on-call detectives with the Austin Police Department’s Homicide Cold Case/Missing Persons Unit were called in to assist with the investigation. They spoke with a trooper who stopped Martin earlier in the day. Martin said he was on his way to Mexico for a vacation and the trooper noticed bags in the back of the vehicle. He also said there was no indication that Martin was in a crisis.
The next day, officers found Martin’s vehicle. A suicide note was left on the front seat. Inside, investigators found Martin’s wallet with no U.S. currency, and a few other personal belongings. However, his passport was missing.
An inflatable raft was found on shore a few miles away. Investigators said the raft had Martin’s name, his date of birth, a date of death (4/25/17), and the initials of he and his wife written on the side.
Investigators then found out someone had accessed Martin’s email account on April 26 at 3:34 a.m., several hours after the suicidal message had been sent to Martin’s wife. The IP address that accessed the email account was traced to Mexico.
Finally, the affidavit states investigators discovered Martin had a close relationship with an undisclosed woman. The woman told investigators she had evidence that Martin was alive and that “the entire event was an effort to stage his own death.” The woman said she received an email from Martin after the alleged suicide, stating his plan for a staged death had been successful.
An arrest warrant is now issued for Martin. He faces a $3500 bond.