Police say man faked his own death to avoid prosecution in child rape case

A Mississippi man is now on the US Marshals 15 Most Wanted fugitives list after authorities say he faked his own death to avoid prosecution for the rape of his 14-year-old stepdaughter, the agency said in a news release. Credit: US Marshall\'s Service
By Madeline Holcombe and Giovanna Van Leeuwen, CNN

    (CNN) -- A Mississippi man is now on the US Marshals 15 Most Wanted fugitives list after authorities say he faked his own death to avoid prosecution for the rape of his 14-year-old stepdaughter, the agency said.

Authorities believe Jacob Blair Scott, 43, may be living off the grid due to his military training. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading directly to Scott's arrest.

Scott, from Moss Point, was indicted in Jackson County on 14 felony charges. the Sun Herald newspaper reported.

The charges include sexual battery, touching a child for lustful purposes and exploitation of a child. "I think we owe it to the family to get justice for this young girl," Supervisory Deputy Inspector Carlos Cosby told CNN affiliate WLBT.

"This is a horrific act that she shouldn't have to go through and he should be brought to justice for this."

While out on bond, he failed to appear for a court hearing in July 2018, authorities said. Investigators found his abandoned boat off the coast of Orange Beach, Alabama.

Authorities found a gun and a note while searching the boat -- but little forensic evidence of a suicide. They searched for a week in the Gulf of Mexico for his body, but never found remains.

Investigators later discovered that before Scott disappeared, he withdrew $45,000 from his bank account that was never recovered.

The-CNN-Wire
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