David Vigil had never met a girl like Candice Cooper Boley in Miami Beach before: a tiny Alabama belle whose quick smile and Southern drawl were as out of place as a snowflake. When they started dating in February, Boley say, she wasn't interested in marriage or kids. But after a few months together, she bought the pair promise rings. "Everything was good and gravy," he recalls.
But on July 7, when Vigil returned home from his job as a Mid-Beach hotel security guard, all he found was a note: "I'm so sorry about everything that I've done," it mysteriously began. "I'm just a terrible person... I left so I couldn't do any more damage to your life."
It didn't take long to discover just how much damage Boley had left behind.
Vigil frantically dialed Boley's number, but there was no answer. He left desperate messages, to no avail. Then he Googled her name.
"My heart literally dropped out of my fucking ass," he says. Up popped a dozen news stories with titles like "Talladega mother declared missing." Instead of the single woman she had claimed to be, Boley had left three young children back in Alabama when she disappeared New Year's Eve.
Vigil was devastated. Everything he knew about Boley had been a lie.
But Boley had done more than steal his heart. Vigil claims the vixen withdrew $600 from his mother's bank account and forged his name on a check in an attempt to steal $3,000 more. Miami Beach Police confirm Boley is the subject of an open fraud case, and a surveillance photo shows her entering a nearby convenience store that morning to use his mother's ATM card.
"She was sending me texts like normal, but the whole day she was stealing my money," Vigil says while chain-smoking in his small North Beach apartment. He doesn't know why Boley left, but his neighbor across the hall has an idea.
Mike Moss says Boley scammed him out of $320.
"She came over here one day with a big tear in her eye, asking me to loan her money to pay the electricity bill," Moss says. When her check bounced, he told her she had until the weekend to pay him back. She disappeared on Sunday.
Vigil is heartbroken but angry. He wants Boley caught, if only to prevent her from suckering someone else and force her to return home to her kids. He even worries for Boley, who once told him that she is bipolar and has "borderline personality disorder."
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"Who knows," he sighs. "That could have been just another lie."
And although the bank returned his money, Vigil says he will never forgive his bogus bride-to-be. Boley has scarred him forever.
"I'm going to be suspicious of anyone that comes close to me for the rest of my life," he says. "Google is all I have."