Awful Details About The Former Professor Who Stalked And Threatened Multiple Men She Met On Tinder And Craigslist Using False Identities

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Melissa Ann Santana, former NAU professor who stalked firefighters, student
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Though she went by many names, Melissa Ann Santana was her real one.

A former Northern Arizona University professor is facing charges of felony stalking and making false statements against 11 people, including firefighters and a NAU student.

Melissa Ann Santana, who used to be an associate professor of interior design, allegedly sent derogatory and threatening messages to three US Forest Service firefighters, a student, and more via text messages and Facebook.

Santana, 36, was arrested October 30 on five counts of felony stalking and three counts of giving false information.

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She allegedly stalked her victims primarily through online and electronic means from Feb. 1, 2015, through Sept. 22, 2017. 

According to U.S. District Court documents from Coconino County, Santana used "many different identities, email addresses, social media accounts and temporary telephone numbers." The complaint says that she would harass and stalk the men on social media under names such as “Kendall,” “Ann,” or “Amanda.”

Santana met some of the victims she stalked online, on Tinder and through Craigslist. Others were merely family members of guys she had met. One of the men admitted he had a relationship with Santana but it had ended.

In September of 2016, one of the victims received a message from a “Kendall” that said, "You do a job that requires no brains whatsoever. You are just a tree cutter and hole digger. The government finds you as a disposable front line against fires. You can easily be replaced by a younger dumber version."

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An NAU student claimed he was stalked for three years, first on the university’s Facebook, then his personal Facebook account, Tinder, and on Yelp.

He told federal investigators that he met Santana via Craigslist and within a week he was being stalked and harassed by an “Amanda” online. She even posted that the student has STDs.

A Globe Hotshot Crew supervisor told investigators he received a text stating that one of his crew members “needs to take responsibility” for getting her pregnant. It was later discovered that the crew member met “Amanda” on Tinder but only had contact with her once – when she showed up at the restaurant he told her not to meet him at.

Another victim told authorities he had a sexual relationship with the married stalker but once he ended it, she vandalized his car and sent him texts from different numbers.

According to AZCentral, one of the text messages said, “Why not be like the granite mountain hotshots and go die in the fire,” referring to the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in a fire back in 2013.

Santana, who is a resident of Flagstaff, allegedly sent false emails under the name “Cathy McCarthy” to the firefighters’ supervisors of the Flagstaff and Globe crews. The emails stated that the hotshot crew members had sex with Santana’s underage daughter in a hotel and was copied and sent to three supervisors.

An investigation into the emails was launched and the men mentioned in the message were unable to work during the investigation.

The federal complaint said, "The entire crew lost considerable income as they were not available for the last fires of the season as a direct result of this false email.” US Magistrate Judge Charles R. Pyle called Santana a danger to the public.

Her arraignment is set for Nov. 29, and she is no longer employed at NAU.

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