Produced by Jay Young and Marc Goldbaum
(This story was originally broadcast on Jan. 21)
Dewayne Barrentine is a single dad working full time while raising his 8-year-old son just outside the small town of Marianna, Fla.
In June 2007, Barrentine was picking up his son at his daycare center when a woman passed him a note. "She said, 'It's a phone number,' I said, 'To who?' She said 'Miss Tausha,'" Barrentine recalls.
"Miss Tausha" was 31-year-old Tausha Fields - a single mother who had recently moved to town with her 4-year-old daughter, Lexie, and was working at the daycare center.
"She could be very sexy," Barrentine tells "48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Erin Moriarty.
"And if she wanted a man, she could really pour it on," notes Moriarty.
"Oh, absolutely. Absolutely," he says.
There was another big reason Barrentine fell for Tausha.
"She was really there for my son...," he explains. "I had full custody of him. He would lay in the bed next to me ... and I would hear him say his prayers and he would pray for a mama."
Barrentine soon felt the same way about Tausha's daughter, Lexie. "We weren't dating even a month and she said, 'Will you be my daddy?' And I said, 'Baby, I'll be whatever you want me to be...'"
Lexie was from a previous marriage that Tausha wasn't keen on talking about. "...the little girl from that point on called me dad," Barrentine says. "And I loved her."
It wasn't long before they were all living together.
"She makes you feel like she loves you," he continues, "from love letters to little things that she did."
Barrentine says Tausha seemed too good to be true. "She even told me in the beginning that she had a Bachelor's degree in criminal justice."
But the more time they spent together, the more he began to question Tausha.
Barrentine says, "The stories just didn't add up," starting with strange stories she told of her past.
"She was supposed to receive an inheritance from her granddad who was a federal judge who was blinded by a battery blowing up in his face," he tells Moriarty. "If he was a federal judge, surely his name would be on docs under Google somewhere, but I never found anything."
Moriarty notes, "She's a storyteller." "Oh yeah," Barrentine says. "She can come up with a story in a blink of an eye."
So Barrentine kept on digging. "I wanted to know who I had living in my house with me and my son," he says.
As Barrentine combed through computer records, he came across a marriage license.
"...she had married a man named Mitchell Wayne Kemp," he says. "I called her and she told me that yes, she had been married to Mitchell Wayne Kemp, and, in fact, she had been married five times."
"She was 30 years of age and she had been married five times before?" Moriarty asks.
"That's what she said," Barrentine says. "I couldn't believe it. I really couldn't."
It turns out Mitch Kemp was an ex-husband and the father of Tausha's daughter, Lexie.
"It was a marriage that probably shouldn't have ever happened," Tausha tells Moriarty. "We were more friends. I mean I loved Mitch, but I wasn't in love with him."
For Dewayne Barrentine, it was one surprise after another.
"I just never lost my drive to continue to keep figuring out stories that she would tell me," he says.
His digging eventually led him to a face-to-face meeting with Keith Jones, an old boyfriend of Tausha's.
"I was in love with her and anything else didn't matter," Jones says, telling Moriarty that he also heard Tausha tell many of the same stories.
"You couldn't verify anything that she said," he says. "You know, and I mean there were a lot of stories."
There was one outrageous story that Barrentine heard for the first time from Jones.
"He told me that she was involved in the murder of one of her exes," says Barrentine.
Jones tells Moriarty, "She had a few drinks in her. ...she said this guy had raped her and her daughter. And she apparently ... went to where he was and lured him back to her house ... and he walked in the front door. And that's when Greg shot him in the chest."
"Greg" is Greg Morton, another of Tausha's ex-husbands whom she married after Mitch Kemp.
Jones says the story, "just seemed so far-fetched."
"Did you think about going to the police or the authorities after she told you that story?" asks Moriarty.
"No, because I didn't believe it," Jones replies. "There was no sense going to the police when I didn't believe it myself."
"With the kinds of stories that Tausha tells, isn't it really hard to know what the truth is?" Moriarty asks Barrentine.
"It really is. Absolutely," he replies.
So Barrentine left it at that until a few months later, when he discovered Tausha was cheating on him and threw her out of the house.
Heartbroken and humiliated, he started digging into Tausha's past again - even going on her personal Myspace page.
"When I logged on, there were like these three or four messages there: 'Are you Tausha Lee Fields?'" Barrentine says.
It was there he discovered someone was looking for Tausha's ex-husband, Mitch Kemp, who had been missing for four years.
"I read one of the messages that said, 'We are very concerned." '...How is Mitch? We haven't heard from him in over four years.'"
The messages were posted by Mitch's relatives, who were desperate to find him.
"I just thought every day he's gonna walk through that door. I'm gonna see him," Mitch's mother, Carole Kemp, tells Moriarty. "But he never did."
That got Barrentine thinking. "We've got the child, Lexie Kemp. We've got a marriage license, Mitchell Wayne Kemp. And now the death of one of her ex's. There's Kemp, Kemp, Kemp, Kemp, Kemp."
Could the missing Mitch Kemp be the ex-husband in Tausha's far-fetched story of murder?
"Here is everything," Ballentine says. "It just fell in on top of me." So he reported his bizarre story to the Marianna, Fla. police chief.
"And sure enough, I got a phone call from him that night saying. 'Let's keep this quiet. I do believe we got a homicide on our hands,'" he says.
"What were you thinking at his point?" Moriarty asks Barrentine.
"Holy s--t! Here we go!" he replies. "Never did I ever think I'd be involved in something like this.
In the six years he had been police chief in Marianna, Fla., Lou Roberts had never heard a story quite like Dewayne Barrentine's. Barrentine believed that his former girlfriend, Tausha Fields, might somehow be involved in the disappearance of her ex-husband, Mitch Kemp.
"Dewayne was very good on dates and times," Chief Roberts says. "I told Dewayne he probably should have been an investigator."
Still, Chief Roberts needed to do some investigating of his own. That meant going to the story's source, Keith Jones.
"We interviewed Keith Jones. It was the same story we were hearing from Dewayne," Roberts tells Erin Moriarty. "I just had a gut feeling that something had happened to this individual, cause, I mean, there had been no activity about his past."
Mitch's brother, Tracy Kemp, had the same feeling - 900 miles away in Boone County, Mo., where Mitch and Tausha Fields had lived.
"I just had a gut feeling that something bad had happened and she had something to do with it," he tells Moriarty.
Carole Kemp had always believed that Tausha was somehow behind her son's disappearance.
"We all believed it,'" she says. Asked why, she replies, "Just the type of person she turned out to be, after we got to know her."
The family felt very differently about Tausha when Mitch Kemp first brought her home in 2001.
"She was a really sweet girl," says Carole Kemp.
Asked what the relationship was like at first, Mitch's sister, Michelle Kemp, replies, "Very good. I mean we had a great time together."
Tausha was 26; Mitch, almost 11 years older.
"Did you love Mitch?" Moriarty asks Tausha. "Yes," she replies. "I could just be me with Mitch."
But the Kemps say it didn't take long for Tausha to change Mitch.
"He wasn't as playful as he used to be," says Michelle.
"There were just things that Mitch and I would do together that would start to take a back seat to things that she wanted to do," Tracy Kemp adds. "She was very manipulative in that whatever she wants she got."
In 2002, their daughter, Lexie, was born and the couple soon married. But the good times didn't last long.
"It was utter chaos, no bills could get paid," says Tausha.
"It was like a roller coaster ride, you know," Tracy says. "They were good, and then they were bad. Then they were good, then they were bad."
"We lived in the same house," Tausha says, "but there was nothing there."
After just eight months of marriage, it was over. Tausha moved out, taking Lexie with her.
But Tausha wasn't single for long. She was dating Greg Morton and after six months, they were married in Missouri. Tausha, Lexie, and Morton became a family. That didn't sit well with Mitch Kemp.
"I remember him telling us that, 'I wanna get Lexie back,'" says Tracy.
That was in August of 2004 and the last time Tracy says that he spoke to his brother. Less than two weeks later, Mitch Kemp disappeared.
"Did you try to get a hold of Tausha to see where Mitch was?" Moriarty asks the Kemp family.
"She never had anything in her name," Michelle says. "No utilities, no bills, nothing."
So the Kemps turned to the Boone County, Mo., Sheriff's Department, but the search for Mitch went nowhere. He had seemingly vanished without a trace.
"There has to be some kind of reason - information that a person could be the victim of foul play. And we didn't have any of that information at that time," says Det. Dave Wilson.
Three and a half years later, in 2008, the Missouri detective got a hot lead. That's when Florida police told Wilson the story coming from Keith Jones and Dewayne Barrentine - that Tausha had talked about how she had "lured" Mitch Kemp to the farm so Greg Morton could shoot him.
"I always felt there was some truth to what he was saying," Wilson says of Barrentine's credibility. "Keith Jones, same thing."
"At that point," Det. Wilson continues, "we believed that we may possibly have a homicide."
But there was no proof, no body and no witnesses. So that in May of that year, Det. Wilson and his partner traveled south to interview Tausha Fields herself.
Tausha Fields: I have no problem talking to you guys cause I have nothing to hide.
Detective: I appreciate that.
Detective: Mitch Kemp hasn't been seen since August of '04.
Tausha Fields: It doesn't surprise me. It doesn't surprise me at all.
At first, detectives didn't let on that they had talked to Keith Jones or Dewayne Barrentine. Tausha insisted she knew nothing of Mitch's whereabouts.
Tausha Fields: If I knew, as well as this is wood (taps table), what happened to Mitch, I would tell you.
And when asked about Greg Morton, Tausha had little to say except that the two had long since divorced and seldom talked.
Detective: When did you leave him? Greg?
Tausha Fields: Oh that's been a couple of years ago.
Detective: What type of person is Greg?
Tausha Fields: Um, I have nothing bad to say about him.
But the more detectives questioned Tausha about her ex-husband, the more her description of him changed. Suddenly Greg Morton was a man to be feared.
Tausha Fields: His mind is not right. He lives in a... He's a very angry person, know what I'm sayin'?
Detective: So if I thought he had done something to Mitch, it wouldn't surprise you? ...Do you think he's capable of hurting someone like that?
Tausha Fields: I mean, he hurt me!
Then finally, Tausha could hold her secret no longer.
Detective: Just let it out...
Tausha Fields: Greg killed Mitch. He told me.
She said there had been a fight; Greg Morton had pulled out a gun. But is this the truth or just another of Tausha's tall tales?