An environmental compliance specialist allegedly tried to hire a hitman to kill the wife of her hiking buddy who she’d met on Match.com, prosecutors said.
Melody Sasser, 47, is accused of threatening David Wallace and his wife, Jennifer, allegedly tracking her rival using a fitness app to send real-time updates and information to a fake assassination website that eventually tipped off police, the Daily Beast reports.
“This needs to appear to be random or accident. Or plant drugs, don’t want a lengthy investigation,” Sasser allegedly wrote on the now-defunct “Online Killers Market” site under the username “Cattree.”
Sasser, who worked for truck stop company Pilot Flying J, provided the website with about $9,750 worth of bitcoin on January 11, along with information on Jennifer and criteria the hitman must meet to keep the trail cold, according to court documents filed in Knoxville, Tennessee, federal court.
David Wallace and Sasser appeared to have been matched on the online dating site sometime in 2020, and although it remains unclear what the exact nature of their relationship was, the two were close as they hiked together in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, southeast of Knoxville.
Wallace, who works for the US Department of Energy, told police that Sasser even helped him tackle the Appalachian Trail that year.
But their relationship soured in 2022 when Wallace left for Prattville, Alabama, with his then-fiancé, Jennifer.
The couple allege that Sasser tracked them down to confront them — and David told her that he was getting married to Jennifer.
“I hope you fall off a cliff and die,” Sasser said, according to the court documents.
In December, prosecutors claim Sasser became active on the Online Killers Market website, often venting her frustration that no hitman had quickly taken the job. Sasser allegedly became so angry that she eventually took her complaints to the site administrator.
“Waiting for 2 months and 11 days and the work is not done. 2 weeks ago you said that on this The work has been done and will be completed in a week,” the user Cattree wrote on March 22. “The work is still not completed. Does it need to be assigned to someone else. Will it be done. What is the delay, when will it be done.”
When she was told the hitman declined the job because it “was too risky,” Catree began posting Jennifer’s information from the Strava workout app, including her hiking routes and routine.
The Department of Homeland Security was notified on April 27 about the hit placed on Jennifer, with investigators working with the couple to provide protection and track down the person who wanted her dead.
Officials followed the money from Catree’s account and subpoenaed Coinhub, which operates Bitcoin ATM machines and linked back to Sasser, according to court documents.
Police also identified Sasser’s 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe near Jennifer’s office in Birmingham on November 9 and 14, 2022.
Sasser was arrested on May 18, and remains in custody pending a court appearance on Thursday. If convicted of the murder-for-hire charge, she could face up to 10 years in jail.
M. Jeffrey Whitt, Sasser’s attorney, declined to comment on the pending litigation.
David and Jennifer Wallace could not be immediately reached for comment.