Sarma Melngailis garnered national headlines beginning in 2015 when she suddenly disappeared from the public eye, seemingly abandoning her successful restaurant business. Through interviews of various people involved, Netflix’s ‘Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.’ tries to understand how Sarma’s life changed forever after she met and married Anthony Strangis. The couple spent nearly a year on the run before being arrested in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in May 2016. During Sarma’s time there, she felt some sense of normalcy through a friend she made named Dustin Hall. So, if you’re curious to find out more, here’s what we know!
Who is Dustin Hall?
In 2016, Sarma and Anthony traveled to Pigeon Forge, where they lived in a motel. By then, Sarma’s restaurant was shut down because the employees weren’t paid their wages. While living there, Sarma said that Anthony would give her a few hundred dollars every once in a while to get some food or other things. Her go-to was a Chipotle across the street, and over time, she became a regular there, getting to know the employees.
One of them was Dustin Hall. Sarma stated on the show that she didn’t tell him anything about her, introducing herself as Emma. The two became good friends, hanging out close to the restaurant with a six-pack of beer and talking about politics and other things. Dustin’s initial impression was that Sarma was hiding something; he said that she would dodge specific questions that he asked.
However, Dustin also felt that his being blunt with her was one of the reasons she got comfortable enough to share things with him over time. Whenever they hung out, Dustin stated that Sarma would often rush back and ask him not to message her until she did. Eventually, she told him a bit about her situation — that she was with a guy named Chris and that things weren’t going too well with him. Sarma never used her or Anthony’s real names with Dustin.
Where is Dustin Hall Now?
While the friendship seemed to be going steady, Dustin then didn’t hear from Sarma for a couple of days. That was because, in May 2016, a tip led to Sarma and Anthony being arrested. On the show, Dustin said that he heard from Sarma when she called from prison; she wanted him to pick up Leon, her pet dog, from the hotel. Dustin picked up Leon and Sarma’s belongings and cared for him for a couple of days until Sarma’s father, John Melngailis, came by. It is unclear what Dustin currently does since he’s been inactive on social media. Originally from Albany, Georgia, Dustin still seems to live in Pigeon Forge and is a father to a young daughter.
Read More: Where is Stacy Strangis Now?