US

California Child Molester Who Faked Death Caught in Florida

By The Associated Press

CHICO, California—A Northern California man who police say faked his own suicide to avoid jail for child sexual assault and pornography has been arrested in Florida.

The Enterprise-Record reported Tuesday, May 7, 58-year-old Michael Manning, of Chico, California, was arrested in Monroe County, Florida.

michael Mannings California child molester
Michael Patrick Manning. (Photo from the Chico Police Department)

Chico police say that Manning had a hearing scheduled on Oct. 6, 2016, to be sentenced on child sexual abuse, child pornography, and other charges but he didn’t show up.

Chico police say a suicide note in Manning’s handwriting was found in a car he rented that was left near Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, but his body was not found.

A California Highway Patrol car stands guard at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza November 2, 2001 in San Francisco, CA. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A California Highway Patrol car stands guard at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza in San Francisco, Calif., on Nov. 2, 2001. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“Agents with the U.S. Marshal’s Service developed leads in April, possibly linking Manning’s location to Florida,” authorities reported.

Deputies in Florida arrested him on May 3 at 1:30 a.m., after he identified himself with a fake U.S. passport and U.S. Navy identification card during a burglary investigation on the Stock Island Marina.

Chico police said Manning’s identified himself as William Wallace Littlejohn. Monroe County Deputies requested assistance from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Border Patrol, and the FBI. The suspect’s identifying documents were determined to be fake, and he was arrested.

Manning’s underwent fingerprint analysis in the Monroe County Jail and was positively identified as Michael Patrick Manning. He remains in custody on no-bail warrants, awaiting extradition to California, according to the release.

Child Assault

An estimated 674,000 children were determined to be victims of maltreatment in 2017, according to the Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

Of the victims, about 75 percent were neglected, 18 percent were physically abused, and 9 percent were sexually abused.

Nationwide, an estimated 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect, a decline from the 1,750 children who died from the same in the previous year.

Officials said there was an increase in the number of referrals to Child Protective Services for an investigation but that there was a decline in the number of maltreatment cases, a phenomenon they will be probing.

Epoch Newsroom contributed to this article.