A Texas cop who went missing on April 25 now has a warrant for his arrest after texting a suicide note to his wife, faking his own death then fleeing to Mexico in an inflatable raft.
But it was determined he was not dead after he was recorded on a surveillance camera having a meal at Wendy’s.
Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manning says officer Coleman Miller Martin’s actions are an “elaborate ruse.”
The Austin Police Department issued an arrest warrant Friday for Martin, 29, and filed criminal charges for filing a false report against the officer – who intentionally sank his car in his efforts to stage his own death.
His vehicle was found Wednesday in Lake Amistad, which is located near the Mexican border.
Detectives learned Martin has a close relationship with a female who is not his wife. She told police his entire disappearance was an attempt to fake his own death and that he’s actually alive.
The woman showed police an email Martin sent her stating his plan to stage his own death had been successful.
Police issued a statewide BOLO or “be on the look out” after they were notified Martin was missing on Tuesday when his wife called 911.
Martin’s wife reported to dispatchers her husband was suicidal and left the house around 10 a.m.
Police say she and Martin exchanged texts throughout the day and at around 10:15 p.m. Martin texted a handwritten note saying he intended on committing suicide by drowning himself in a lake near the Mexican border.
Martin also left a card behind with a note saying he needed some time to himself.
Investigators in the case found Martin withdrew $300 in cash earlier in the day and purchased a raft at a sporting goods store in Austin and was later seen on surveillance video eating food at Wendy’s.
Officer Martin’s debit card records show he bought a rope and concrete blocks at Home Depot.
Texas DPS’s records reveal Martin had been stopped earlier in the evening by a trooper near Uvalde, Texas around 6 p.m. According to documents, Martin stated he was on his way to Mexico for vacation.
At around 7 a.m. the next day, Lake Amistad National Recreation Area law enforcement reported to APD Martin’s vehicle had been found in the lake with a suicide note inside, along with his keys and wallet, which contained no U.S. currency.
Martin’s passport was not found in the vehicle.
Police launched a massive search operation utilizing air assets, dive teams, boats and various efforts on the ground by local, state and federal authorities.
Detectives found an inflatable raft on the shore a few miles from where Martin’s vehicle was found in the water. The raft had Martin’s name inscribed on it along with his date of birth and “date of death” as well as his wife’s initials written on the other side, according to KXAN.
Police discovered concrete blocks and scrape marks on the raft, indicating Martin pushed the blocks over the edge in an effort to stage his death.
A cross drawn in the mud with a stick was found at the entry point where the raft was discovered.
Homicide investigators accessed Martin’s email account and found the suicide note sent to his wife around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. The IP address that accessed the email account was located in Mexico.
Detectives resumed their search Thursday and learned Martin bought an HP tablet at Best Buy at 2:19 p.m. on Tuesday, which was not found in his vehicle in the lake.
In the email sent to Martin’s female friend, Martin described how he intentionally staged the scene with his vehicle in Lake Amistad then rode a bike for several miles to a convenience store where he threw his bike in the dumpster then took a taxi to the border crossing at around 10:56 p.m.
Bond for officer Martin’s false report charge is set at $3,500.
Anyone with information about Martin’s whereabouts is asked to call Austin police at 512-974-5250.