Police in Maine and New Hampshire say they continue to look for an Old Orchard Beach man who disappeared from a transitional housing unit after he pleaded guilty to a bigamy charge in late April.

Michael Middleton, accused of marrying women in multiple states including New Hampshire, pleaded guilty April 29 to bigamy. York County Sheriff’s Office via AP

Michael Middleton, 43, was accused of having at least four wives when he pleaded guilty to a felony bigamy charge in New Hampshire on April 29. He was given a 12-month sentence, which was suspended on the condition of good behavior for five years.

Authorities say conditions of Middleton’s sentence were that he enter a halfway house and comply with probationary consultations and regulations. A warrant was issued May 1 when he lied to his probation officer, disconnected his phone and disappeared.

“His whereabouts are unknown and it is respectfully recommended the court issue a warrant for his arrest,” New Hampshire Probation Officer Gregory Mourgenos said at the time.

Middleton was married to at least two other women – Katherine Langley in Georgia in 2006 and Cassandra Shipley in Alabama in 2011 – when he married Alicia Grant in Dover, New Hampshire, in 2013, according to court documents.

He would later marry yet another woman, Ashley Climer, in Kentucky in 2016, without divorcing his previous wives. It is unclear if he faces criminal charges in any other states for those marriages.

Police in New Hampshire believe Middleton may have left New England with Climer, whom he married a month after they met on Facebook. Photos posted on Climer’s Facebook page show her and Middleton on a beach in what may be the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, area days after he disappeared in early May.

According to The Associated Press, Middleton eventually scammed Grant out of $20,000 and moved to Old Orchard Beach after being released from the York County Jail following his arrest on Nov. 7, 2014, after Grant accused Middleton of assaulting her.

York County Superior Court documents show Middleton also is a fugitive from justice and facing multiple charges locally stemming from that incident, including domestic violence assault, violation of protective order and violation of conditions of release.

Prosecutors in the New Hampshire bigamy case said in court that Middleton used multiple marriages to gain access to the women’s assets, scamming them out of thousands of dollars.

A warrant was issued for Middleton’s arrest when he didn’t appear for a Feb. 7 court appointment in Dover, New Hampshire, but he was arrested the next day in Columbus, Ohio, after police were tipped off and he was taken into custody without incident.

Middleton was dubbed the “Cupid of Chaos” by the Franklin County Ohio Sheriff’s Office and was extradited from Ohio to New Hampshire to attend a bail hearing at the Strafford Superior Court in Dover, New Hampshire, in March and then transferred to York County Jail in Alfred on March 20. He was released from custody April 8 for time served.

Before Middleton was tried on the bigamy charge in April, a Missouri woman came forward and said she had been romantically involved with him. Allison Stewart said in an email to the Journal Tribune that she met Middleton online and they were in a relationship for nearly a year and lived together in Boonville, Missouri, until he left her in 2015.

She said Middleton became emotionally and mentally abusive, and she found out later that he was 10 years older than what he claimed in his online dating profile.

She also believes Middleton stole jewelry from her. She didn’t report the jewelry stolen because she didn’t realize it was missing until after Middleton had moved out, and she didn’t have any evidence, Stewart said.

In February, York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery said that Middleton also is wanted on a Feb. 27, 2015, warrant from Presque Isle charging that he failed to pay a fine for operating a motor vehicle under the influence and operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license.


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