Police: Man pretends to be dead boy's father for free towing - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Police: Man pretends to be dead boy's father for free towing

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Matthew Ladnier, IV (Photo Source: Biloxi Police Department) Matthew Ladnier, IV (Photo Source: Biloxi Police Department)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A Gulfport man is in jail accused of pretending to be the father of a child who died in an accident this week and attempting to collect money for that child's funeral.

Matthew Ladnier, IV, 27, is facing a misdemeanor false pretense charge.

Authorities said when Ladnier tried to pick up his car from a towing company he told employees of that business he was the father of Blake Terrell, the boy that was run over and killed while crossing Highway 90 on Tuesday.

Employees reported that Ladnier claimed he couldn't afford to bury his son, so they didn't charge a towing or storage fee.

Police say some of those employees later realized the man wasn't Terrell's father and contacted police who arrested Ladnier Friday.

Besides the single misdemeanor false pretense charge, authorities are pursuing other charges because of reports that Ladnier had attempted to solicit money from cruisers and Biloxi businesses claiming it was for Terrell's funeral.

If you were approached by anyone claiming to be a member of the Terrell Family and gave them money, you're asked to call the Biloxi Police at (228) 435-6112.

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