Oklahoma Man Who 'Faked His Own Death' Six Years Ago Found

A wanted fugitive who police said faked his own death in his bid to evade capture has been apprehended.

Christopher Tomberlin is accused of an attempted murder in Bibb County, Georgia, in 2015.

For the past six years, it was presumed he was dead until new information surfaced revealed he was alive and living in Oklahoma.

Following "weeks of investigative collaboration" between U.S. Marshals Service Metro Fugitive Task Force and officers from the Oklahoma City Police Department's Violent Crimes Apprehension Team, Tomberlin was found. He was detained on Thursday.

"Analysts from our Criminal Intelligence Unit worked diligently, and were able to piece together Tomberlin's latest steps, leading officers to the area of SW 77th and Douglas where today, he was taken into custody without incident," Oklahoma City Police Department said in a statement on Thursday.

As reported by The Macon Telegraph at the time, Tomberlin was accused of threatening to kill his alleged victim, who is referred to as his wife in that report but who police described as his then girlfriend.

He is alleged to have bit her on the hand and throwing a hatchet at her.

The Oklahoma City Police Department said that "soon after this incident, Tomberlin faked his own death and has been able to evade capture until now."

According to an arrest warrant, Tomberlin threatened to kill the woman while she was on the phone to his mother.

Tomberlin is accused of having thrown hatchet at the woman which missed and lodged in a door inside the couple's home.

A Bibb County sheriff's deputy later noted that the woman had a bite mark on her hand which allegedly came from Tomberlin during the incident.

The suspect was detained on family violence charges of aggravated assault, battery and terroristic threats.

The Oklahoma City Police Department have been contacted for further comment. Newsweek has asked for clarification on the relationship between Tomberlin and his alleged victim, as well as details of the charges he now faces.

The accusation of faking his death to avoid punishment is reminiscent of another case in the U.S. from earlier this year.

In February, a West Virginia woman was handed an additional 12 months sentence to run consecutively to her previous 42 month sentence for faking her own death to avoid sentencing for health care fraud.

Prosecutors said Julie Wheeler and her husband Rodney conspired to fake her death in May 2020 so she could avoid jail.

Rodney Wheeler and another family called 911 to claim that Julie Wheeler had fallen from the Grandview Overlook in the New River Gorge in West Virginia.

Following two days of intensive searching by law enforcement, Julie Wheeler was found hiding in a closet inside her home.

United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced in February that Julie Wheeler would be handed a sentence of 12 months and one day for her role in a federal conspiracy to obstruct justice.

"Julie Wheeler faked a traumatic death to avoid her judgment day with the courts. While she was found hiding in a closet she was also hiding from justice. The scheme put many lives at risk and wasted valuable resources," Mike Stuart said in a statement.

"By conspiring to avoid her federal sentence for health care fraud, she, with the aid of her husband, only made matters worse. Julie added another year to her sentence and Rodney now has a federal felony conviction for which he will soon be sentenced."

fugitive Christopher Tomberlin found
Christopher Tomberlin has been captured in Oklahoma six years after he faked his own death. Oklahoma Police

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