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Two women thousands of miles apart are on a mission to bring down a bigamist. He's a man both women say they were married to at the same time. (WTVD)

On the surface, Saroya Pendleton-Brown and Renee Stewart have little in common.

Twenty years separate them in age. Twelve-hundred miles separate them in their Fayetteville and Jamaica homes. One is an educator, and the other works in financial services.

Until recently, both women shared the same name at the same time. They were both Mrs. Courtney Brown, and have spent the greater part of this year in a back-and-forth for justice with his former employer, the United States Army.

Brown, an Army Sergeant who was recently discharged as the result of an investigation into bigamy, adultery and fraud, may face a civilian criminal case in Cumberland County.

For each of his wives, one former and one current, the past few years have been a journey to justice, vengeance, and closure.

"It's just one memory after the other, after the other after the other," said Stewart via a Skype interview from Jamaica.

"He preys on women for his own personal, financial and sexual game," said Pendleton-Brown. "That's all it is. It's all a game."


Pendleton-Brown, 47, met a handsome, charming Fort Bragg soldier in mid-August 2009. It was a chance meeting in a Fayetteville shopping center parking lot.

Sgt. Courtney Brown, 34, was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, and Pendleton-Brown describes the relationship as fast-moving.

"After a year, he actually went to Iraq. After coming back from Iraq, he moved into my home. We started dating," said Pendleton-Brown.

The couple married in May 2011, and enjoyed a life of travel and romance. Brown would be sent from Fort Bragg to Germany on a short tour in which Saroya Pendleton-Brown would stay in Fayetteville. Two years into the marriage, Sgt. Brown received orders to report to Fort Benning, Georgia. His new wife followed, but soon the pair had domestic violence issues and they began to grow apart.

Within a few months of arriving to their new home, Pendleton-Brown said she unpacked the shock of her life.

"There was several tough boxes that he carried with him when he was in Iraq, Afghanistan, and also in Germany. Those boxes were never at our home," she said.

"As I looked through those boxes, that's where I discovered wife number three. I discovered wife number two, and I discovered wife number one," said Pendleton-Brown, "and wife number three was still married to him when he was married to me."

Pendleton-Brown said she never knew the young soldier had ever been married period, much less three times. Wife number three would be a then-20-year-old Renee Stewart, a Jamaican woman. Stewart had been introduced to Brown in 2009 through her co-worker, a relative of Brown's.

Stewart said a couple of months of phone conversations led to a visit.

"I thought that he was attractive, had a good personality that was for sure. Charm and charisma," she said.

Within two weeks of the visit, Brown proposed marriage.

"The first thing that went through my head was 'He's joking. He could not be serious,' and he said 'I am.' He was actually serious," she said.

They married. He deployed, and they made plans to reunite upon his return before separating in 2009. Stewart said he'd changed. He was aloof, even when she'd suffered the loss of a baby.

It wasn't working out.

Three years into the marriage, Stewart would learn about Pendleton-Brown who found a Homeland Security file in that box she unpacked. It had Stewart's number.

"I said 'Well, I'm his wife.' And she said 'Well, I'm his wife," Stewart recalled. "He grabbed the phone away from her and he somehow convinced her that I was some crazy chick."

"The conversation ended abruptly and I never heard from him again," she continued.

Pendleton-Brown, who discovered her husband was already being investigated for adultery at Fort Benning, took the information to his command.

"I contacted the commander. I contacted the first sergeant, and I sent them a text and told them I had some information I needed to share with them because at this point, I believe Courtney is a bigamist," said Pendleton-Brown. "They said they would proceed with an investigation."

On Friday on ABC11 at 11, we show you how the military and civilian authorities have handled this case, what criminal proceedings are still pending in Cumberland County and how often this type of case is recognized in North Carolina.

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