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Missing theft suspect spotted in W.Va.

December 15, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A woman who was reported missing and is wanted by authorities in Harrisburg, Pa., for allegedly stealing more than $19,000 from a church was seen Monday morning at the Knights Inn near Martinsburg, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

Michelle McMullen was working at the Knights Inn for the past two months using the name Monique Watson, Sheriff's Department Lt. Gary Harmison said.

McMullen was reported missing by her parents Oct. 1, a few days after the woman left her 6-year-old son, Jayden, with a friend in Harrisburg, according to America's Most Wanted's Web site www.amw.com.

McMullen is considered a fugitive by the Susquehanna Township Police Department, which has a warrant for her arrest that charges her with forgery, theft by deception and theft by unlawful taking, according to the Web site. McMullen allegedly stole more than $19,000 from a church in Susquehanna Township, where she worked as an administrator, according to the Web site.

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"It looks like she's faked her own disappearance," Harmison said Monday.

On Oct. 7, police said McMullen's car was found abandoned near an Interstate 81 exit near Hagerstown. According to her parents, McMullen's vehicle was parked across from Volvo Powertrain's Pennsylvania Avenue security checkpoint entrance. Security staff reported the abandoned car to Washington County sheriff's deputies, who confirmed that the 2002 black Honda Accord belonged to McMullen.

The car was found unlocked with the driver's seat leaned back. Inside were McMullen's mobile phone, purse, a pillow and additional personal items, police said.

A team of investigators with tracking dogs was brought in to search the area. According to relatives, the dogs were able to track McMullen's scent for about 50 feet.

Police said they found nothing at the scene to suggest foul play.

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