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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.He could be a little awkward, but Missi chalked that up to his inexperience—he told her he hadn’t been with a woman in eight years. Richie had a taste for nice things—expensive restaurants, four-star hotels—and he always insisted on paying.He kept a motorboat docked at a nearby marina, and he’d take Missi and her daughters out for afternoons on the water. Richie mentioned that his cousin Vicki worked for the same airline as Missi. “One day we’ll show up together to some family event and surprise her; it’ll be great.”A few months into their relationship, she missed a shift at work and got fired. He told her that he’d take care of her bills for the next four months, that she should relax and take stock of her life and spend time with the kids.One day in early August, driven by a feeling she couldn’t quite pinpoint, Missi took a peek at Richie’s wallet.Inside was a Minnesota state ID with a photograph that was unmistakably Richie’s, but with an entirely different name: Derek Mylan Alldred.The wallet also contained a couple of credit cards belonging to someone named Linda. She’d had a nagging sense that something wasn’t right in her relationship, but she’d shaken it off as her being untrusting.
Maybe, he told her, with the benevolent confidence of a wealthy man, she wouldn’t have to work.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.
Missi Brandt had emerged from a rough few years with a new sense of solidity.