OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Authorities arrested 37-year-old Christopher Tomberlin in Oklahoma City after they say he faked his death for six years to escape authorities.
Tomberlin was wanted for violating parole after being convicted of attempted murder in a 2015 attack on his girlfriend in Georgia.
The U.S. Marshal’s Office and Oklahoma City Police got a tip saying Tomberlin was in the Oklahoma City area. Officials say he’s been in the metro for the past two years using aliases during the time he pretended to be dead.
Investigators say there was even a Facebook post announcing his death. They say someone came forward with a tip.
“That tip from a caller … had information that indicated that Mr. Tomberlin was alive and residing in the Oklahoma City metro area,” said Andrew Joseph, Chief Deputy with the U.S. Marshals, Western District of Oklahoma.
Tomberlin was first arrested in 2015 in Bibb County, Georgia after trying to kill his girlfriend by throwing a hatchet at her, according to a 2015 article from the Macon Telegraph. The weapon lodged in a door, missing the woman. A warrant said Tomberlin also bit her and threatened her life.
After serving time, he was released on probation but allegedly violated the terms and went on the run.
This week, officers from multiple law enforcement divisions caught up with him in the Oklahoma City-area and arrested him without incident, according to Oklahoma Police Dept. officials.
“There was some initial surprise from what I understand, but yes, ultimately they were able to identify him quickly with his real name,” Joseph said.
“I’m really surprised,” said John Wilson, who lived nearby. “He seemed like a decent guy.”
“It’s kind of crazy, never talked to him so it’s kind of weird that that’s just like a random thing that I‘m just now learning,” Megan Brown, who lives nearby, said. “I’m glad that I didn’t talk to him.”
Tomberlin is in the Oklahoma County Jail. He will be extradited to Georgia to face charges.
Nexstar’s KFOR asked the Bibb County Probation Office in Georgia for information on what other tactics he may have used to stay in hiding but have not heard back.