Convicted killer reportedly in hiding after faking his suicide in Kentucky

Police in Kentucky are hunting for a convicted killer they say faked his suicide by jumping off a bridge after violating probation.

Wade Russell Meisberger, 40, spent more than 12 years in prison for murdering his best friend, Michael Sawyer, in the early 1990s. Now police in Carrollton have a warrant out for his arrest for violating his probation.

"We believe that he staged his own death to avoid something. We are unsure if it is due to personal problems or legal issues," Carrollton Police Chief Michael Willhoite told


Police say they got a call from an unknown person who reported a naked man spotted by someone near the bridge that separates Carrollton and Prestonville, both about an hour northeast of Louisville. An officer arrived within a minute, and found blue jeans lying on the bridge railing, a pair of shoes, a wallet with Meisberger's ID, and a bag with a suicide note inside of it at the scene, according to Willhoite. Hours later, someone came forward saying that they saw the man, identified as Meisberger, jump off the bridge.

Authorities searched for Meisberger for 10 hours, but his body was not found. They also believed that the current was too calm for his body to drift all the way to the Ohio River, several miles downstream.

While it was first only investigated as a suicide, police are now have reason to believe Meisberger is alive thanks to a set of YouTube videos. The video series features the convicted criminal attempting to provide evidence proving his innocence of the 20-year-old murder.

"We really have no idea where he may be ... he's really computer savvy," Willhoite said.

Documents show Meisberger violated his probation when he failed to show up for a scheduled meeting. If Meisberger is caught, he will not face any charges in Carrollton, but a civil suit may be filed in order to pay for the expenses of about 10 agencies that assisted during the 10-hour search for his body.

Meisberger earned celebrity criminal status when he was featured on the show "America's Most Wanted" in 1992.