Austin officer who staged his death arrested in Dallas

Coleman Martin (Provided Photo/Dallas Police Department)

DALLAS, Texas (KXAN) — Austin police have confirmed to KXAN that the officer who was believed to have staged his own suicide and fled to the interior of Mexico has been arrested in Dallas.

Dallas jail records currently show a 29-year-old Coleman Martin booked in at 8:36 a.m. Wednesday.

Authorities have not released additional information about Martin’s arrest other than he was arrested flying in to Dallas.

Martin, who joined the Austin Police Department in 2011, was last seen late on April 25 as he crossed into Mexico and boarded a bus.

A suicide note found in Martin’s abandoned vehicle triggered a massive search operation, using air assets, boats, dive teams and other ground efforts, using local, state and federal resources, police say.

The Austin Police Association has apologized to a half dozen agencies for wasting resources on a false alarm. “On behalf of the Austin Police Department, I would like to apologize to those groups that had to take their time and endanger their lives to search for this person,” said Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday.

Martin had a close relationship with a female who was not his wife, detectives learned. At around 4:15 p.m. on April 27, she told police that Martin was alive and the entire disappearance was his attempt to stage his own death. She said Martin sent her an email stating his plan for a staged death had been successful.

In the email, Martin described how he had intentionally staged the scene with his vehicle at Lake Amistad and then rode a bicycle for eight miles to a convenience store. He then threw his bicycle in a dumpster behind the store and took a taxi to a border crossing. In an interview with investigators, the store clerk remembered Martin’s statement that he rode his bicycle from the lake as “odd” and that he appeared sweaty.

“People make mistakes and people have to answer to their mistakes. The association believes that Cole will have to answer to what he’s done,” said Casaday.

Bond for Martin, if he were to have been caught, was set at $3,500. It’s not yet known if this is the current bond he faces.

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