OPD: Man with sad story lied
Published 12:05 am Thursday, April 12, 2012
The Opp Police Department arrested a West Virginia man Wednesday for using claims of a dead wife and 3-year-old daughter to allegedly fleece money from area residents and churches.
Michael McIntire, 35, who stated his hometown as “Land-mark, W. Va.,” was charged Wednesday with theft by deception after it was discovered his tale of the death of his family at the hands of a drunk driver in November was false.
McIntire told The Star-News last week that he was walking across the country from West Virginia to Oklahoma and back after selling all their possessions to bury his wife, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and daughter on reservation land. He went so far as to describe being at his dying daughter’s bedside as she passed.
Turns out, it wasn’t true, according to Opp Police Department officials.
Joan Boggan, who contacted The Star-News Wednesday, said she read about McIntire’s plight and recognized him as he made his way up U.S. Hwy. 84 toward Opp last Wednesday. She said she picked him up, and went as far as to provide a hotel room for a night and introduced him to her church’s congregation.
“We took up a love offering for him, and he was able to pay for the other nights in the hotel,” Boggan said. “After talking with him, and my family talking with him, his story just kept getting bigger and bigger. I told him that some of the things he was saying didn’t quite jibe.”
On Wednesday morning, the family told McIntire it was “time to move on,” Boggan said.
“I know my heart was in the right place, trying to help him,” she said. “But I told him that he was deceiving the Lord, and he’d have to answer to that.”
The OPD said once they learned of the inconsistencies in McIntire’s story and the amount of financial help given by locals, they began to investigate in earnest.
What they learned was that McIntire’s wife and child were alive and well, living in a Little Rock, Ark., subdivision called “Landmark,” the supposed name of McIntire’s hometown. The pictures he’d shown to locals were taken from his wife’s Facebook page.
Police Chief Nickey Carnley located McIntire’s wife by phone Wednesday afternoon. She said she has not seen her husband since Easter of last year.
Carnley asked that any individual or church who may have given financial assistance or goods to McIntire to contact the OPD at 334-493-4511.