FORT WORTH (AP) -- A Fort Worth-area pilot faces bigamy charges after allegedly marrying his second wife on the same day he filed to end his first marriage.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Germain Gardea's secret double life came to light when his second wife decided to investigate suspicious payments made by him to his first wife. In May she called the woman she believed to be an ex-wife, only to find that her husband was still married to her.
Police reports show that the man, who runs an airplane rental and training business with his second wife, was living with both women in the Fort Worth suburbs. One lives in Arlington, the other in Grapevine, some 17 miles apart.
A spokesman for the local police told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the first wife was unaware of the existence of the second wife until the time of that call. Gardea's job as a pilot involves frequent travel and would have helped explain why he was away from either woman for extended periods of time.
Gardea has a child with his first wife, whom he married in 2004. He was arrested on Oct. 11 and is free on $2,000 bond. He didn't immediately return messages Thursday.
Court records show the man filed for divorce on Oct. 19, 2009, stated they had stopped living together the day before and cited discord and conflict of personalities as reasons for ending the marriage. He also allegedly married his second wife that same day.
It is unclear whether his first wife was aware of the divorce proceedings. Records show he failed to appear at the divorce hearing and that she never responded to the 2009 filing.
She has now filed for divorce and claims she lived with Gardea until May 3, the day of the call from the second wife. A hearing has been set for April.
Fort Worth police believe Gardea also fabricated a divorce decree to make his second wife believe he was no longer married.
During their phone conversation the woman mentioned, and then emailed, the decree to the first wife. The first wife later confirmed to police she had never signed the documents and believes her husband forged her signature.