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Man faces bigamy charge after marrying Pinellas Park woman

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Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 02:35 PM
TAMPA -

A 65-year-old man was arrested on charges he married a Pinellas Park woman he met online while he was married to someone else.

Harold F. Savage was arrested in Tampa on Monday on a charge of bigamy.

According to a Pinellas Park police report, Savage met Nancy Sparks, 67, online and then moved in with her at her home at 9301 62nd St. Once he moved in, he used her name, along with other personal information, as well as a forged signature, to buy a vehicle, the report states.

"It was also discovered that Savage was still married to his ex-wife for two months after he married Sparks," the report states.

When police began investigating, Savage had been taken into custody under the state's Baker Act, which allows a person to be held for 72 hours for psychiatric evaluation. Savage had threatened suicide when Sparks accused him of trying to extort money from her, the report states.

Sparks told authorities she had met Savage on the website eHarmony in July 2010, the report says. He was living in Minnesota at the time.

They communicated for about a month and Savage eventually flew to Florida to meet Sparks in August 2010, the reports states. He spent four days with her, then flew back to Minnesota. During a subsequent telephone call, he told her he felt he was having a heart attack. He ended up in the hospital, and she flew up to Minnesota to be with him and take care of him.

It was decided he should return to Florida and the two of them should get married, which they did, in Sparks' home, on Sept. 19, 2010. During the time they were together, he told her many suspicious stories.

Among other things, he said he was a pilot and had been shot down, and had spent time in a prisoner of war camp with John McCain, the report states.

He also claimed to be independently wealthy, and that his family had established a foundation to help people get educational scholarships. When he was introduced by Sparks to the head of her church, and the dean of a local college, he offered to donate large amounts of money to the foundations the two men were affiliated with.

Additionally, Savage told her he was a diabetic, suffering from cancer, and needed a heart valve replacement.

"Sparks stated she knew these claims were out of the ordinary, but she stated she was able to 'rationalize' them, and she believed Savage when he told her these things," the report states.

Savage's son eventually called her, and told her his father was mentally ill, and that he needed to be committed. "Sparks stated she was told that Savage had been lying to her about almost everything he had told her," the report states. The son gave Sparks the telephone number of Savage's ex-wife.

Sparks called Savage's ex-wife, who said they had been divorced only since Nov. 8, 2010.

It was when Sparks confronted Savage about these new facts, on Nov. 26, 2010, that he threatened suicide and ended up at Northside Hospital under the state's Baker Act, the report says.

While he was in custody, she started going through their financial paperwork and found some documentation regarding a 2010 Yukon Denali sports utility vehicle. He had tried buying one in Minnesota, but he couldn't because it was discovered he was using a bogus Social Security number, the report states. He also didn't have the credit, or the money needed for a down payment.

The vehicle was delivered to her home after they were married, the police report says. Savage had apparently managed to buy it – and have it shipped from Minnesota – by using Sparks' name, the report says.

A Pinellas Park investigator eventually contacted Savage's ex-wife, Nancy Newell, 55, who lives in Bloomington, Minn. She said her ex-husband had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder several years ago, and was often delusional, believing he was involved in businesses and ventures that did not exist, the report states.

During their marriage, it was not uncommon for him to buy expensive vehicles and jewelry, and bring them home, but the items would always have to be returned because the couple couldn't afford them, Newell told investigators.


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