COVINGTON - A Tennessee man who said he wanted to help local authorities in the search for a dismembered woman's remains was taken into custody earlier this week after authorities say he falsely claimed to be an agent with the U.S. Marshal Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Shortly after midnight Monday, the suspect, Derrick Ethan Strong, 40, of East Ridge, Tenn., walked into the Newton County Sheriff's Office on Alcovy Road and told authorities he was an undercover agent with the U.S. Marshal Service working on the dismembered body case and that he wanted to lend his assistance to the investigation, according to Investigator Mickey Kitchens.
After trying to confirm Strong's identity, Kitchens said jail personnel were unable to determine anything definitive about him and took him into custody.
During an interview, Strong reportedly told investigators that he held "badge No. 2" with the U.S. Marshal Service and FBI, which was later determined to be false.
"Needless to say, the U.S. Marshal's office said they had never heard of him and the FBI said they don't have a badge No. 2," Kitchens said.
Strong reportedly went on to tell authorities he was an Apache and Creek Indian Nation chief and he could help them find the rest of the unidentified woman's remains.
"He wanted to offer his assistance by him being an Apache, he thought he may be able to help us track down the rest of the body parts," Kitchens said.
Strong has been charged with one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer.
Joel Griffin can be reached at email@example.com.