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Police: Man faked wife's disappearance so she'd avoid prison

Richard Lewis Kelley, Jr. was sentenced to life in prison for burglary of a dwelling while armed and 15 years in prison for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. (Pixabay)
Richard Lewis Kelley, Jr. was sentenced to life in prison for burglary of a dwelling while armed and 15 years in prison for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. (Pixabay)(WJHG)
Published: Jun. 3, 2020 at 7:50 PM EDT
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Authorities say West Virginia woman and her husband faked her disappearance by pretending she plummeted from an overlook as part of a scheme to keep her out of having to go to prison.

Julie and Rodney Wheeler were arrested Tuesday and charged with multiple fraud and conspiracy offenses.

Julie Wheeler's husband and son claimed she fell from an overlook at Grandview State Park Sunday and was missing.

Police searched for Wheeler and found her hiding in a closet in her home Tuesday. Police said Rodney Wheeler and his son planted evidence at the overlook.

Julie Wheeler pleaded guilty to federal health care fraud in February.

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