Fugitive Allegedly Kills Wife After Meeting Through Prison Pen Pal Program

The Phoenix Police created an age enhanced photo of what William "Bubba" Plemons may look like today. If you have any information on this ex-convict, career criminal, please contact our hotline directly. You can always remain anonymous and you can text information 24/7: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).

September 08, 2021

Age enhanced images of William "Bubba" Plemons [Phoenix PD]

Age enhanced images of William "Bubba" Plemons [Phoenix PD]

By: Michelle Sigona

When 61-year-old Ermelinda Macatangay stopped showing up for her work at the hospital in Phoenix, AZ no one thought the worst. In fact, the staff received a call from a man who said she wouldn't be at work for a while. Ray said he was Ermelinda's husband and her father in California was ill, so she would be taking some time off.

But after a while, things weren't adding up, and Ermelinda's sisters contacted police. When they searched Ermelinda's home, they immediately noticed a horrific smell in the air. As investigators inched closer to a bedroom, they discovered Ermelinda's badly decomposed body. Not only was she dead, but her husband, "Ray," had apparently been living with her body for more than a week.

The only problem was, "Ray" was long gone. He had left at the end of June 2003. Through a lengthy investigation, authorities realized "Ray" was convicted felon William "Bubba" Plemons. They also believe Plemons allegedly killed Ermelinda.

Detectives learned the pair had met through a prison pen pal program. Through her church Ermelinda signed up to help inmates. Once out Plemons had taken advantage of her, and then she left him. Somehow he made his way back into her life after another prison stay. Investigators believe it was possible Plemons was allegedly draining Ermelinda's bank account and when she confronted him things didn't go well.

Plemons and victim Ermelinda Macatangay [Phoenix PD]

Plemons and victim Ermelinda Macatangay [Phoenix PD]

During the time Ermelinda was decomposing in her own home detectives said Plemons was out on the town. He hired a local woman to be his driver and visited prostitutes and banks, slowly taking money away from his dead spouse.

Ermelinda came to the United States from the Philippines to help support her siblings and family. She had a big, generous heart and would help anyone.

Plemons is a career criminal, described as a "scammer" with a long rap sheet including armed robbery and even a kidnapping. He spent time behind bars for robbery and assault. Detectives also learned Ermelinda wasn't Plemons' only target. He also met another woman from New York through the pen pal program and married her as well. He thought the woman was wealthy and lived in a high rise in New York. When Plemons realized she was a school teacher with a 500 square foot rent controlled apartment - he bailed. This was when he went back and met up with Ermelinda, marrying her again and making false promises.

Although Plemons has been on the run for years, authorities believe he's crossed paths with possibly other women or victims along the way. They are hoping anyone who has information on Plemons will come forward.

If you have any information, please contact the "In Pursuit with John Walsh" hotline directly. You can always remain anonymous: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).

HEIGHT: 5 feet 8 inches

WEIGHT: 190 pounds (at the time he disappeared)

HAIR: May be gray or bald

EYES: Brown

SEX: White male

DOB: April 1946

DATE OF CRIME: June 24, 2003

LOCATION OF CRIME: Phoenix, AZ

CONNECTIONS TO: Orlando, FL

CHARGE: Murder

MARKS / TATTOOS: Small mole or possibly birthmark of sorts on the right side of his forehead near his hairline

ALIASES: Ray, Bubba, Johnny Lee Taylor, William Taylor

Read more: KTAR

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