S.C. woman, homeless companion charged with faking her kidnapping

Melanie Martin, 40, and Andrew Douglas, 28, are charged with blackmail for conspiring to lead Martin's husband to believe Douglas kidnapped her, according to arrest warrants.

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WLTX) - A Lexington County woman reported missing Sunday and found Thursday in Florida were arrested in Florida and charged with blackmail after reportedly leading her husband to believe she was kidnapped, according to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.

Melanie Martin, 40, and Andrew Douglas, 28, are charged with blackmail for conspiring to lead Martin's husband to believe Douglas kidnapped her, according to arrest warrants. Martin’s husband reported her as a missing person Sunday.

Officials say the two individuals are also charged with obstruction of justice and criminal conspiracy.

"Douglas left Ms. Martin's husband a voicemail indicating he would reach back out to him to provide information about wiring money to secure Ms. Martin's release," said Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon. "Escambia County, Florida, deputies helped us track the pair down in Pensacola and Martin admitted in writing and verbally that she'd been willingly traveling with Douglas since leaving home Sunday."

More charges are expected to be filed against Martin and Douglas, according to Koon. They were arrested Thursday evening at a Pensacola motel. Security cameras captured images of Martin and Douglas inside a Midlands convenience store Monday morning.

Martin and Douglas are being held at the Escambia County jail. Investigators plan to extradite them to Lexington County, according to Koon.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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