Married Prof Met Firefighters on Tinder, Then Things Got Ugly

Melissa Ann Santana arrested on charges of felony stalking, making false statements
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2017 11:55 AM CST
Updated Nov 25, 2017 2:14 PM CST
Firefighters Met the Prof on Tinder, Then the Trouble Began
Melissa Santana.   (handout)

She went by the names Ann, Amanda, and Kendall on Tinder—and some Arizona firefighters apparently swiped the wrong way. The Washington Post has the bizarre story of former Northern Arizona University professor Melissa Ann Santana, who was arrested Oct. 30 on charges of felony stalking and making false statements. She allegedly stalked and harassed three members of the Flagstaff and Globe "Hotshot" firefighting crews, one of their fiancees, and an NAU student. The firefighters are identified only by their initials: Like SM and KT, NL reportedly met the married interior design associate professor—who went by "Ann" and was seeking "daytime fun"—on Tinder. That was in November 2015; NL ended their relationship in June.

He says Santana took it badly and believes she was the one who began harassing him under other aliases, saying at one point, "why not be like the granite mountain hotshots and go die in the fire, like the other dumba-- losers there" (a reference to the 19 firefighters who died in 2013). On Sept. 9, 2016, the superintendent of the Flagstaff Interagency Hotshot Crew got an email from "Cathy McCarthy" alleging that three firefighters traveling to a blaze in Wyoming plied the woman's 15-year-old daughter with booze and had sex with her. Except a special agent with the US Forest Service determined there was no McCarthy, or daughter—per the criminal complaint, it was Santana. She was no longer employed by the university as of Nov. 1, reports KPNX. She faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted, per the Daily Sun. (Read more harassment stories.)

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