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Richie told her he was on vacation in Hawaii, but they planned to meet up as soon as he got back.
He was always canceling plans, or not showing up when he was supposed to.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.Derek Alldred had dated a woman in California under false pretenses and drained her bank account of almost $200,000.Derek Alldred had married a woman, pretended to pay the bills on their home, then vanished after it was foreclosed on.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.
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.
Missi felt ready for a serious relationship again, so she made a profile on Our Time.com, a dating site for people in middle age.
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When Missi “liked” his profile, he sent her a message right away and called her that afternoon.