Real Name: Michael Short
Wanted For: Aggravated Assault, Escape
Missing Since: June 7, 1996
Details: In June of 1994, nineteen-year-old Michael Short met seventeen-year-old Melody Woods during a summer session at her high school in Fort Worth, Texas. The two soon began dating and Michael left a good impression on her parents. They had no idea that her new boyfriend had a criminal record and a nasty reputation.
Six months earlier, Michael and a friend were driving down Highway 121 in Bedford when they came upon a couple driving slowly in the fast lane. Michael became enraged and began yelling at the other driver. For ten miles, he followed the couple. He then pulled out a handgun and fired at the couple. The driver was struck once in the shoulder but survived. Police tracked down Michael through his license plate number. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
While out on bail, he met Melody. When she learned about his criminal past, she was apparently too in love with him to care. Soon after, she began acting secretly around her parents. They feared that he was becoming too possessive of her. However, she claimed that their relationship was fine.
In March of 1995, Michael was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to eight years in prison. Melody's parents hoped that the sentence would end her relationship with him. However, she told them that she would try to make it work. Michael made collect calls to the Woods home every day. If Melody did not answer at a specific time, he would become enraged with her.
Melody's parents eventually blocked all collect calls to their home. However, Michael was able to find a way around that: he would call his parent's home and they would call the Woods home. Sometimes, the calls would be continuous. For awhile, Melody stopped answering him. Eventually, however, she started talking to him again. From jail, Michael seemed to control Melody's life.
On the morning of June 7, 1996, Melody and a friend waited outside of the prison walls in a borrowed van. Meanwhile, inside the prison gym area, Michael climbed up a fence, kicked out a window, and escaped. He ran to the van and jumped inside. The three drove to a nearby motel where Michael changed his clothes. He and Melody got into her car and left her friend behind. The couple has not been seen since.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the December 13, 1996 episode.
Results: Captured. After nine months on the run, the couple voluntarily surrendered in Fort Worth, Texas. Michael was given an additional seven years for escape; he has since been released. Melody was given ten years probation for her role in the escape. Michael and Melody are now married and own a fishing business.