After nearly a decade of searching for her long-lost husband, Karen Shepard found him. And not only was he still living in the same state where they first met, Wisconsin, but he was married to another woman.
“I just thought, ‘How could he get married again?'” she told USA Today. “Am I dead? What did he do with my identity?”
When Karen first met her husband, Adam L. Marx, at a Outagamie County fair, he was married, but hadn’t been living with his wife for years. “I figured, ‘He’s going to get divorced, and this means he really wants to be with me and the kids,'” she said.
Adam and his first wife finally filed for divorce in 2001, and he married Karen on Valentine’s Day the following year. But a year later, Adam left Karen with just a note saying that he could not handle her kids. “The first time he left me, it was like somebody reached into my chest and ripped my heart out of me,” she said.
Then, just before Karen received her Christmas bonus, Adam returned. Karen suspected that he came back because of the money, but she still took him back. However, she made it clear this would be the last time. “My ultimatum was ‘If you ever do this to me again, I won’t take you back.’ I did it once. I won’t do it twice.”
Eventually, the reunited family decided to make a fresh start in Montana. And things were good for a while. But Adam started not coming home and racking up a lot of debt. And Karen started to suspect that he was cheating so she gave him an ultimatum: shape up or leave.
Adam decided to take the latter option and packed up his truck and moved out. Unfortunately, Karen was left with thousands of dollars of debt and poor health because of all the stress. “If it wasn’t for my son who was out there with me, I’d probably be homeless,” she explained. “I was trying to start a cleaning business, and after he left me, that totally ruined everything.”
Karen saw Adam one more time in a Kmart parking lot and immediately asked for a divorce. He told her he’d call but never did. This was the last time she saw her husband.
So imagine Karen’s surprise years later when she reached out to her mother-in-law after finding her on Facebook, and she told her the shocking news that Adam now had a new wife. Karen immediately contacted the authorities and asked them to investigate.
Adam is now facing charges of bigamy, fraud, and making a false statement on a marriage license. “I consider myself married,” Karen said. “I thought when you married someone, you married him for life, through sickness and health.”