Montello man allegedly lied about kidnapping to get sympathy from wife, deputies say

PORTAGE (WKOW) — Text messages claiming her husband had been kidnapped prompted a woman to call the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, kicking off a bizarre ordeal that ended with the husband’s arrest Wednesday.

Deputies took Darrel Moll, 45, from Montello into custody on charges of obstructing an officer and unlawful use of a telephone after he admitted he zip-tied himself to a chair and made up a story about being attacked, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

The woman called authorities Wednesday after receiving a call and texts from her husband where he allegedly said he had been kidnapped and was being held against his will. The sheriff’s office said Moll claimed he was zip-tied to a chair at his town of Pacific workplace.

More texts to the woman allegedly made demands. She called the sheriff’s office.

Deputies reviewed the messages and then went to Moll’s workplace. They found the man’s truck parked behind the business. Someone had left one door to the building ajar and authorities heard a man calling for help.

Inside, deputies found Moll zip-tied to a chair. Deputies investigated, including taking a statement from Moll, who allegedly claimed someone hit him over the head from behind while he was locking up at the end of a shift.

Deputies say Moll said he was unconscious before coming to a few minutes later bound to the chair. Moll also allegedly said his attacker forced him to call his wife or he would be killed.

The sheriff’s office said its investigation did not find any evidence supporting Moll’s claims, and during a follow-up interview Moll allegedly admitted to making it all up and tying himself to the chair.

Deputies told 27 News they believe Moll had hoped his wife would have come looking for him herself, rather than sending the sheriff’s office.

The entire alleged ruse was an attempt to get sympathy from his wife because the pair’s relationship had been struggling, according to the sheriff’s office.

JT Cestkowski

JT Cestkowski

Social Media Content Producer/Desk Editor

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