APA President says officer who staged suicide embarassed department and family

Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday describes his fellow officer Coleman or "Cole" Martin as someone who loved to travel.  But he didn't know him that well.

"I've met Cole a few times working downtown, he worked in the walking beat for quite a while when he worked overtime.  Seemed to be a pretty good guy but pretty quiet," Casaday said.

Read Missing APD officer faked death, fled to Mexico

Earlier in the week, all anyone knew was that Martin had been in "emotional distress" and his car had been found near the Mexico border.

"At first you're planning for a possible death of a police officer either by suicide or by unknown means and then you go and find out it was all a big hoax.  It was very disappointing and a lot of the officers are very let down and very angry," Casaday said.

What Austin Police believe to be Martin's "hoax" is detailed in a warrant for his arrest.

Read APD searching for police officer in emotional distress

On Tuesday, Martin's wife Jaclyn called 911 to report her husband was suicidal.

She said he had been depressed because of family issues and had told her he was leaving for a while to clear his head.

Austin Police say that morning Martin withdrew $300 from the bank, he went and got gas and then went to an Academy somewhere in Austin and bought a raft.  Martin also stopped at a Home Depot and bought concrete blocks and rope.

Austin Police say after 10 that night Martin sent his wife a text message with a photo of a handwritten suicide note saying he was going to drown himself in a lake near the border.

The next morning law enforcement officers with the Amistad National Recreation Area called Austin Police saying they'd found Martin's car near a lake in Val Verde County with the same suicide note he'd sent his wife and an inflatable raft with his name, birth date and death date written on the side.  They also found a concrete block and a cross drawn in the mud.

A massive search operation was initiated using local, state and federal resources like boats and dive teams.

"It's one of these things.  It always makes me angry when all of these people endanger their lives for the con-artist.  the person that's either faked their death," Casaday said.

On Thursday afternoon Austin Police interviewed a friend of officer Martin's.  She had gotten an e-mail from him saying his plan for a staged death had been successful.  After intentionally setting up the scene at the lake, Martin confessed he rode a bicycle to a convenience store, threw the bike in a dumpster and took a taxi to the border crossing.

"You can tell from the wording of the e-mail that it was a planned scam and he's not only embarrassed the department but he's embarrassed his family.  He has children and he has a wife and just I feel horrible for them," Martin said.

Martin is charged with "false alarm or report."  That's a Class A Misdemeanor.

Anyone with information about where he is -- call the Austin Police missing persons unit at 512-974-5250.

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