Widow further saddened by online mischief
Imposter lifted her late husband's picture for his online dating profile
A widow's grief is made worse by a man she says posed as her late husband. Melanie Moss says he used her husband's picture as his own for an online dating site. And she says he later made threats against her family.
But it's not an easy case for investigators.
"He was a wonderful husband. A wonderful father," Melanie Moss, looking at a group of pictures of John Moss, who died suddenly last fall.
One of those pictures, she says, was used by an imposter on the website plentyoffish.com.
"I guess to get women. I mean look at my husband. He's pretty hot," Melanie laughed, keeping some sense of humor over the ordeal.
She says she knows who the imposter is because a nephew stumbled upon his profile using her late husband's picture on pof.com. Then she says, two nephews set up a meet with the man at a McDonalds in Shreveport. She says they saw him there and exchanged text messages acknowledging their presence. Then they said he sped away in what appeared to be the same red car in the man's Facebook profile.
"He got the license plate on the car and got it run to (the imposter.) He's from this town. We don't know him but we know of him," Melanie Moss says.
Before agreeing to that meeting, Moss says the imposter sent threatening text messages to her nephews. Moss read from a printout: "If you're Melissa and Keith's boy, I will kill you. But if you're Mel and Witt's I will mutilate you."
It may seem like an easy case for investigators to make -- sending threatening messages. But it's not.
A law enforcement official familiar with the case says the suspect appears to have used a smartphone app that blocks his actual number. So it's hard to prove in court that he actually sent those messages.
There's also a question of jurisdiction. The suspect has an address in the Highland neighborhood in Shreveport, far away from Claiborne Parish.
Claiborne Sheriff Ken Bailey says he's investigating. But he declined to give any details. Since he's not charged with a crime, we're not revealing his name.
But we did talk to the suspect on the phone. He gave a series of denials of any wrongdoing.
But meantime the profile on plenty of fish that Moss says the man used with her late husband's picture has been taken down. So has the man's other profile with his own picture.
We've also learned about the suspect's criminal background. After a split with his wife four years ago, he was charged with a series of crimes -- including the felonies of property damage and cyber stalking. All were pleaded down to a misdemeanor.
Melanie Moss hopes this story serves as a warning for people to beware of those they meet online.
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