It was a scheme so pernicious that it had police fooled for months, but now the truth has come out.
Angela Diaz, 31, now faces kidnapping, false imprisonment, perjury, forgery, grand theft and filing of false report charges in an apparent attempt to frame her U.S. marshal husband’s ex-fiancée of all manner of crimes that could have put her away for life.
Police now say that it was not Diaz but 30-year-old Michelle Hadley that was the victim in a case that began over the Summer of 2016.
Here’s how the story goes, as laid out by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who called Hadley the “innocent victim of a diabolical scheme.”
Hadley met her unnamed U.S. Marshal ex-fiancée online in 2013 and a relationship followed. The two went in on a condominium together before breaking up.
The two purchased a condo in Anaheim, Calif. in May 2015. By that August, the pair had broken up, and Hadley moved out.
During the next few months, the two went back and forth over email and text about what was to be done with the condo.
The two ceased communicating in the Fall of 2015.
It wasn’t long before Hadley’s ex, identified as John Doe, was testing the relationship waters again online. It was there that he met Angela Diaz.
The two married by February, and Diaz moved into the condo Hadley and Doe had purchased.
By June, things were officially out of hand.
Diaz filed a restraining order against Hadley and accused her of violating the order by posting ads on Craigslist to direct men to engage in “rape fantasy” with her. Police said Diaz went so far as to stage a rape, call 911 and provide authorities with copies of the emails.
From the Orange County Register:
On Monday, prosecutors said it was Diaz who responded to the Craigslist ads. Authorities said she called 911 and falsely claimed a man had entered her garage and attempted to rape her before she was able to chase the man away. Authorities said she even made a red mark on her neck and ripped her shirt before making the call.
Police said men did appear at the condo, believing that the Craigslist ads were real.
A thorough investigation has actually uncovered that Diaz “sent emails to herself from eight accounts using private networks and third-party servers to disguise her internet protocol address.”
A major break in the case showed that an IP address traced the emails originally believed to be sent by Hadley came from the condo.
Orange County Register/screenshot
Unsurprisingly, Diaz and John Doe are getting a divorce.
For the host of charges against her, Diaz faces up to 23 years behind bars.
Deputy District Attorney Richard Zimmer admitted to the LA Times that Diaz duped police. He also said there was no evidence that John Doe was behind any of it.
“I’m not afraid to say she duped me,” he said. “She duped us. It was very sophisticated, well thought-out. The problem was we couldn’t get to the [Internet Protocol] addresses.”
Michelle Hadley is just happy the “nightmare” is over.
“Obviously, this has been a huge nightmare for me, probably the most traumatic experience of my life,” she said after being cleared of all charges. “I’m glad it’s finally over, and I can move on with my life.”