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Sent on Mormon-News: 22May01

By Kent Larsen

LDS Woman's Stalker Arrested and Charged

MESA, ARIZONA -- A 20-year-old LDS woman's stalking nightmare may be over after Mesa, Arizona police arrested Frank William Elmer, 52, on May 11th. Elmer is charged with two counts of stalking, one count of threatening and one count of attempted kidnapping in connection with his three-year-long obsession with the woman. Elmer met the young woman, whose name has not been released, when her father, an LDS Bishop, was helping him return to normal life after a stint in prison.

The woman's father first met Elmer in 1994 through his work as a volunteer in the prison where Elmer was serving a sentence for theft. After Elmer's release in 1996, the father assisted him through two years of parole. Then, in 1998, Elmer learned that the young woman was recovering from surgery, and sent her a card and dinner to her family. After she thanked him with a hug, he sent other, mostly platonic, cards.

But after the young woman sent Elmer a graduation announcement with her picture in 1999, his cards and letters turned more serious. An August 1999 letter, accompanied by earings and a Spice Girls key chain, both threatened suicide and proposed marriage. In December of that year he sent a card, a dozen roses and a stack of photos of his home, which had been turned into a shrine to her. "Every doorway had a heart cut out of it," the young woman described. "There was a bedroom with a shrine, stuffed animals and flowers." Police reports indicated that Elmer had carved the columns on his carport into the shape of hearts, installed two heart-shaped fountains in his back yard, and installed heart-shaped stones spelling out the young woman's name.

In February 2000, the young woman and her family obtained an order of protection, and Elmer responded by requesting a hearing, appearing for it wearing a tuxedo and telling another LDS Bishop that he thought he was going to his wedding.

Following his arrest, Elmer was interviewed by news reporter Lew Ruggiero from Phoenix's TV12, who found Elmer confused and contradicting himself. In the interview, Elmer claims that he isn't stalking anyone, "If she says she doesn't want to marry me, that's fine. I'll walk away from it." But then he says that he heard her voice while he was in the mountains telling him that she wanted to marry him. Elmer also claimed that he never asked the young woman to marry him, and then admitted that he had.

The young woman says that the experience has been very frightening, "It freaked me out, it freaked my mom out. It freaked everybody out," she said. Believing that Elmer is mentally unstable, she added, "Anyone can snap."


Mesa victim of stalking describes 'nightmare'
(Phoenix) AZ Repblic 19May01 P2
By Paul Matthews: The Arizona Republic

Accused Stalker Arrested
Phoenix AZ KPNX TV12 News 18May01 P2

Man jailed on stalking charges, reportedly built 'shrine' to bishop's daughter
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 18May01 P2
By Paul Matthews: The Arizona Republic


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