Coaxed by Facebook's “People You May Know” feature, Ellenora Fulk discovered that a woman who the social network suggested she “friend,” Teri Ann Frye, was actually her estranged husband’s new wife.
There he was, Fulk and Frye's social connection, in a photo on the Facebook page, sipping champagne next to a wedding cake and his new bride.
Beyond Fulk's hurt feelings was this other problem: She was still married to the guy, Alan Fulk, also known as Alan L. O’Neill, a corrections officer who now faces bigamy charges.
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Turns out, Alan Fulk left Ellenora Fulk in 2009 after eight years of marriage. He changed his name to Alan L. O’Neill and then days later married Frye, unbeknown to Ellenora Fulk. Neither of them had filed for divorce.
Ellenora Fulk alerted authorities after she made the discovery on Facebook. She also called her mother-in-law who apparently alerted her errant son.
"Wife No. 1 went to wife No. 2's page and saw a picture of her and her husband with a wedding cake," said Mark Lindquist, the Pierce County prosecutor in Washington state who is pursuing the bigamy charge against O’Neill.
"An hour later the defendant arrived at [Wife No. 1's] apartment, and she asked him several times if they were divorced," court records show. "The defendant said, 'No, we are still married.'"
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O'Neill, 41, has worked as a Pierce County corrections officer for five years, sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.
O'Neill is free, but due in court later this month, which is standard procedure for non-violent crimes, Lindquist said. He was placed on administrative leave after prosecutors charged him Thursday. He could face up to a year in jail if convicted.
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