updated 10/5/2007 10:33:25 PM ET 2007-10-06T02:33:25

A man who claimed assailants cut his tongue out actually injured himself and has been arrested and charged with stealing $200,000 from his employer, Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran announced Friday.

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Cochran said Michael Crocker, 42, an employee of Vulcan Industries, was arrested without incident in Meridian, Miss.

Crocker reported the tongue-cutting after his neighbor, Stephen Perret, was found shot to death on Aug. 17. Perret's body was found in a truck in Citronelle.

Cochran described Crocker as a suspect in Perret's murder, but said he has not been charged.

Perret was a plant manager at Vulcan Industries in Mount Vernon and was also neighbor and co-worker of Crocker.

On Aug. 23, deputies went to Crocker's home. Deputies discovered that a portion of his tongue had been cut off. Crocker was treated for his injuries.

Based on forensics reports, investigators believe Crocker falsified his story of the attack and, in fact, cut his own tongue out. Crocker is charged with filing a false police report.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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