UK Cops Charge Boater With Fraud

Back-from-dead Darwin hid in family home, using secret passage
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2007 4:53 PM CST
The right hand house is where missing man John Darwin lived and which his wife sold, also the left hand house is alleged to have been owned by John and his wife in Seaton Carew northern England. Friday...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – UK cops today charged John Darwin, the 57-year-old former teacher who allegedly faked his death in a 2002 canoeing incident, with two counts of fraud—acquiring a money transfer by fraud and lying to get a passport—the  BBC reports. Darwin will remain in custody until a court appearance Monday; police have requested that his wife Anne, 55, believed to be in Miami, contact them "at the earliest opportunity."

Police are eager to question Anne because the couple's stories diverge on several points, the Telegraph reports. Both agree that John reappeared at the family home in Britain, hiding from visitors in a room next door, accessed by a secret passage. But she says that John faked his death to dodge debt; he says that by the time he found his way home, she had spent the life insurance money, and they they couldn't afford to pay it back.