LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas — An accused sex offender and his girlfriend are on the run after investigators said he tried to fake his own suicide but was discovered alive almost two weeks later in Nevada, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said Charles Edgell had just been charged with sexual assault in Conroe before he called LCSO dispatchers around 11 p.m. August 15 and suggested he was about to take his own life. He told the dispatcher he had a lot going on and was dying of cancer, deputies said.
The Sheriff’s Office traced the call to the Trinity River Bridge near Highway 105 moments later and started searching for Edgell, investigators said. Officials said there was no Edgell in sight — only an abandoned white 2006 Mustang with a suicide note sitting on the dashboard.
Several volunteers and cadaver dogs joined missing-persons investigators Tuesday as they set out on a search for Edgell. After failing to find his body on the banks of the Trinity River or along the shore line, the search party was called off.
Close but not quite.
The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles said Edgell came into their office Monday and tried to register for a state driver’s license with his girlfriend, Jennifer Burkes. When the clerk tried running the application, the social security number came up as belonging to Burkes’ deceased husband.
Coincidently, Burkes’ late husband and Edgell happen to share the same first name ‘Charles.’
Investigators said DMV employees confronted Edgell about the social security card and he ran out of the building and left his girlfriend to deal with Nevada law enforcement.
Having nothing to hold her on, authorities there were forced to let Burkes go.
Nevada investigators later called Charles’ family, who identified Burkes’ as his widowed wife and Edgell’s girlfriend.
Edgell now has three outstanding felony warrants for his arrest in Nevada. Not to mention, he is still wanted in Conroe for sexual assault.
Officers described Edgell as a 6-foot-3 white man weighing about 180 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. He is on the run with his girlfriend, who investigators said is a 5-foot-7 white woman weighing about 112 pounds with green eyes and brown hair.
Officers said the couple may be riding in Burke’s vehicle, of which the make and model are unknown at this time.
LCSO has closed its missing-persons case and the investigation is now in the hands of Conroe law enforcement.