ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. -- A woman wanted on bigamy charges was arrested in Bay City, and returned to St. Clair Shores to face a judge Friday.
Police said Martha Flemming was arrested on an unrelated charged Thursday night. St. Clair Shores police investigating the bigamy allegations said Flemming was married to at least two men at the same time.
"This is a four year felony and up to $5,000 in fines and costs, " Judge Mark Metry said during Friday's court appearance.
According to police, Flemming also is accused of stealing her husband, Al Flemming's, car and $8,000 he received from an inheritance.
When asked Friday by a Local 4 News reporter about the missing money, Martha Flemming said, "What money? I didn't do nothing with nobody's money."
The Flemmings were married in January.
They met through friends and dated for a year before making the ultimate commitment to one another in front of friends and family at Christ Gospel Tabernacle Church in Saint Clair Shores.
Al Flemming certainly believed his marriage had a bright future.
“I thought everything was going rather well,” he said.
Soon after their marriage, one of Flemming’s uncles died after a long battle against congestive heart failure.
The uncle left Flemming $9,000 and his home in Warren.
Months later, Flemming came home from work to find a car missing and Martha’s clothes were gone from the Warren home.
“Something told me to go to the bank. And she had cleaned out the safety deposit box of $8,000,” said Flemming.
The car was eventually recovered in the Bay City area, Martha Flemming’s hometown; however, the money is still missing.
After Martha Flemming’s disappearance in April Al Flemming filed a police report.
Police soon uncovered Martha is married to another man and has a long list of aliases.
Friday, Martha Flemming said she did not know she was wanted by police. She also accused her husband of being abusive and said that's why she was forced to leave town and hide.
"He abused me," Martha Flemming said. "He was an abuser."
Martha Flemming's daughter attended the court appearance Friday, and supposed her mother's story, insisting that she was abused both mentally and physically.
"It (the abuse) was bad enough for her to leave and hide from him," said the daughter, who asked not to be identified.
Martha Flemming is being held on a $15,000 bond. Police described her as a flight risk.
"I think if she is to be released again on bond, we'll never see her again," said Det. Margaret Eidt of the St. Clair Shores Police Department.
Eidt said she also believes Flemming knew she was wanted by police because, "ample contact was attempted to (reach) her."
Investigators believe she acquired the aliases through marriages, which makes them believe Martha Flemming may have a track record of marrying men and draining their savings.
“What she does is she goes out, she marries a guy and it’s odd because women don't do this these kinds of crimes,” said Eidt. “I would assume that I will probably never see another bigamy case for the rest of my career.”
Saint Clair Shores police are investigating the case because the couple married in the city.
Al Flemming also believes his wife may have set him up from the beginning.
“It came out of nowhere, and it just made me think she was waiting for me to get the inheritance, like she was planning it,” said Flemming. “A lot of emotion and distress. It hurt my heart quite a bit.”
The couple was very involved in their church and the news that Martha is on the run has shocked the church community too.
“Yes, it’s very shocking. I just couldn't imagine her doing this because we were attending church together Wednesdays and Sundays,” said Flemming. “The pastor was saying he couldn’t believe it.”
“All I can say is whoever meets her, be careful because she is very sneaky and I never expected this to happen,” Flemming said.
Martha Agatha Flemming has three other aliases: Martha Agatha Smith, Martha Agatha Chatfield and Martha Agatha Nellett.
It is extremely odd for a woman to do this.