When Missi googled Derek Alldred, half a dozen mug shots of Richie—Derek—popped up, alongside news articles with alarming phrases such as career con man and long history of deception.Missi sat down on the couch and slowly read every word of every article she could find: Derek Alldred had posed as a firefighter and scammed hospitals out of drugs.
Chris sent Missi a picture of Richie in a hospital bed, looking a little banged up but grinning gamely for the camera.Missi felt a wave of relief, both that Richie was okay and that her suspicions were unwarranted.Richie had lingering medical problems from his time in the service, and Missi was constantly having to drop him off at or pick him up from the hospital.He was always canceling plans, or not showing up when he was supposed to.Richie liked to say he didn’t “do drama,” but drama seemed to follow him nonetheless.
It got to feel as if every text from him was an announcement of some new disaster: He had to check his daughter Sarah into rehab; he had to put his beloved shih tzu, Thumper, to sleep.
The two women didn’t work together regularly, but they knew each other. Maybe he could put her and the girls on his university insurance.
Maybe, he told her, with the benevolent confidence of a wealthy man, she wouldn’t have to work.
Derek Alldred had dated a woman in California under false pretenses and drained her bank account of almost 0,000.
Derek Alldred had married a woman, pretended to pay the bills on their home, then vanished after it was foreclosed on.
One day in early August, driven by a feeling she couldn’t quite pinpoint, Missi took a peek at Richie’s wallet.