“We’ve been investigating phone calls made to the women, some dating back to 2007,” said Hughes. “He was making calls to the victim’s homes and places of employment,” he said. The sheriff said McArdle conveyed sexually explicit messages to the victims. He said the content of what he said is not appropriate for release.
In court filings regarding the initial case in McArdle are alleged to have described the woman’s clothing, referenced her “pretty little daughter” and made statements about sexual activity he sought. It is the general policy of DothanFirst not to reveal specific details of this type case or identify victims.
The sheriff would not comment regarding if, or how, the 18 cases are related. He said the investigation is ongoing and urges anyone who might be a victim to contact the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.
Hughes admits the probe was frustrating. “We had ladies in our area that were upset regarding our investigation but it was hard to catch him because McArdle was using a cell phone that did not have his name attached to the account,” said Hughes. The sheriff referred specifically to prepaid phones that can be purchased at many department stores. He called for tougher laws regarding the registering of phones while still protecting privacy rights.
Hughes also said a search of McArdle’s home over the weekend resulted in the recovery of the phone believed used to make many of the threats. The sheriff also said illegal firearms were recovered from the residence including a short barrel shotgun. He said McArdle is a convicted felon in connection with a drug charge in the early 1990’s.
McArdle’s bond was set at $750,000.
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