She was living with her preteen daughters in the suburbs of St.Paul, Minnesota, and working as a flight attendant.
The offer wasn’t all that appealing to Missi—“I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom again,” she says—but she took it as a sign that things were getting serious.
The longer they kept dating, though, the more problems cropped up.
Richie told her he was on vacation in Hawaii, but they planned to meet up as soon as he got back.
A few days later, when he was supposed to pick her up for their first date, Richie was nowhere to be found, and he wasn’t responding to her texts, either.
When she finally did meet him in person, her relief was even more profound.
Richie was tall and charming, a good talker and a good listener who seemed eager for a relationship.
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.
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.
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.