Man who faked suicide to avoid child abuse charges found in Florida nearly three years later

Michael Patrick Manning arrested after he was caught living in a storage container 

Toyin Owoseje
Sunday 12 May 2019 14:43
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Man who faked suicide to avoid child abuse charges found in Florida nearly three years later

A sex offender who faked his suicide to avoid being apprehended by the authorities has been arrested after nearly three years on the run.

Police arrested Michael Patrick Manning, 58, at a Florida trailer park on 3 May after responding to a burglar alarm at a business at the Stock Island Marina.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said he was found living in an unlocked storage container next to the property.

According to authorities, the suspect falsely identified himself as William Wallace Littlejohn and produced a US passport and US Navy ID card to back up this claim.

However, detectives soon discovered the documents were fraudulent when they contacted the Navy, the US Border Patrol and the FBI for verification. Fingerprint analysis was eventually used to identify Manning.

Manning was first apprehended by the Chico Police Department in September 2015. Several search warrants were issued for his arrest after a then-12-year-old girl accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2008 and 2009.

While out on bail, Manning was arrested again on child pornography possession charges after hundreds of indecent images of minors were found on his computer.

In 2016, he entered a no-contest plea to one felony charge of sexual assault and two of child pornography. He was out on bail and ordered to return to court for sentencing on 6 October.

After he failed to show up to his court date, police found an abandoned rental car Manning near the Golden Gate Bridge. Although the car was empty, Manning had left behind a letter that appeared to be a suicide note stating his intention to jump to his death.

However, investigators were not convinced and enlisted the help of the U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force and the FBI, to continue to track Manning and “a close associate.

Manning is being held without bail at a detention centre under fraudulent ID charges while he awaits extradition to California.

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