Texas Bigamist Led a Double Life for Three Years, Police Say

Image: Fort Worth, Texas Police Department

Germaine Gardea, a 38-year-old Texas man, has been married to two women for the last three years, say Fort Worth police. The wives, who lived less than 17 miles apart, were unaware of his double life.

Gardea had been living with his first wife in Arlington, and with the second wife in Grapevine since Oct. 16, 2009, the day on which he filed for divorce from his first wife and married the second. Gardea's petition was dismissed after he failed to appear at the divorce hearing.

"The second wife believed that her husband had been divorced from the first wife since 2009," Fort Worth Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Pedro Criado told ABC News.

Criado said that it is unclear if the first wife was aware of divorce proceedings.

Gardea's double life was exposed in May, when the first wife received a call from the second wife, who had found that Gardea had been paying both women's bills. Soon after the call the first wife, who has one child with Gardea, reported the incident to Fort Worth police. They arrested him on a warrant for the third degree felony of bigamy.

"He [Gardea] is no longer in prison, he was released from jail on a $2,000 bail," said Criado.

Gardea works at Aviator Air Centers, which specializes in professional flight training in foreign countries.

"His job allows him to travel extensively. I think the extended time away from the wives was easily justified up until the bills were found," said Criado.

ABC News contacted Robert D. Hoover, the divorce attorney for Gardea's first wife. He told ABC News that his client does not want media exposure, given the sensitivity of the issue. He said she does not wish to reveal her name or her child's.

ABC affiliate WFAA-TV reported that the first wife has now filed for divorce. A hearing has been set for April.