Police: West Melbourne man caught in drug bust accused of stealing dead man's identity

A West Melbourne man accused of assuming a dead man's identity was arrested Friday.

Police said the identity he was using belonged to a homeless man whose death they investigated last year.

West Melbourne police said in the late 1990s, Michael Favor assumed the identity of another man to avoid aggravated assault charges in New Jersey.

This time, they believe he was avoiding paying child support and a whole new set of charges.

Police were investigating a drug complaint on Gail Boulvevard when they stopped Favor a short distance away.

They said he showed them a driver's license and identified himself as Kenneth Russell, born on June 3, 1963.

Russell, died last year.

“The name given was the name of a deceased person we had previously investigated the death of,” said Capt. Richard Cordeau.

Police were looking for Russell in connection to that drug complaint.

But it didn't take investigators long to realize that Russell was actually Favor.

According to court records, he purchased Russell's personal documentation including a birth certificate and Veterans Affairs papers from an unknown homeless man for $200.

Police say it's not the first time Favor's changed his identity.

“The first time, we were told it was to avoid charges in New Jersey. The second time was to avoid child support,” said Cordeau.

Favor is now facing charges of forgery, possession of a deceased person's ID and possession of a counterfeit driver's license or ID card.

In addition to obtaining a driver's license using Russell's personal information, police said Favor opened a bank account in that name.

They're still trying to determine if there was any financial gain.