Despite her hand-to-mouth circumstances, Elrod’s new account soon began to receive a series of sizable wire transfers, many of which originated abroad.Over the course of one December week, for example, almost $30,000 arrived from Norway; on January 2, someone in France sent $16,977.“He wasn’t like the little boys I was used to dealing with—he was the opposite of that, so sincere, so caring,” Elrod says.“It wasn’t always about him, it was about me, about everyday stuff in my life.” Within weeks of their initial Facebook encounter, Elrod was telling Mc Gregor her most intimate secrets; he, in turn, was emailing her lists with titles like “100 Things We’ll Do Together Before We Die.” By the end of April 2011—only a month into their romance—they were discussing marriage.She knew they’d soon spend hours gabbing on the phone, as was their daily habit.No matter how tired she got from helping Sinclair obtain his money, the prospect of hearing her fiancé’s adoring voice always managed to lift her heart.But he’d refused to let that tragedy destroy his joie de vivre, as evidenced by the many photographs he shared with Elrod: When he wasn’t working on North Sea oil rigs, he enjoyed reading classic novels, playing with his tiger-striped tabby cat, and strumming a heart-shaped guitar.
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As she waited for the Bluefield Area Transit bus to whisk her back to West Virginia, Elrod would think about her fiancé, a Scottish oil worker she’d met online.Elrod’s love affair began with the sort of dodgy Facebook message that most people delete on sight.She discovered that message in March 2011, 20 months before opening her First Community account, while cleaning out her junk-strewn “Other” mailbox during a respite at a Charlotte mall.As part of this blossoming relationship, Elrod grew close to Mc Gregor’s son, Kevin, a 17-year-old boarding school student in Manchester, UK.
The boy wrote her bubbly emails about his closest school chum and his plans for Senior Day.
“My name is Duke, I am from Aberdeen do you know where? I have a son named Kevin and by the Grace of God I will meet that someone again.”The typical Facebook user would likely recognize such a note as bait, but Elrod was in a place in her life that made her vulnerable to such flattery.