U.S. Marshals are offering a $5,000 reward for tips that lead to the capture and arrest of an Army veteran and accused child rapist suspected of faking his own death.
“We are checking everywhere,” U.S. Marshals Supervisory Inspector Raymond Smiles said Wednesday. “We are putting his information on every news outlet that we can. We are just trying to get the information out there so the public can help us locate him.”
Marshals have set up their own tip line for people to call in and report any possible sightings of Jacob Blair Scott, 42, of Moss Point.
He is suspected of faking his death in Orange Beach, Alabama, at the end of July, just days before he was set to plead guilty to sex crime charges in Jackson County.
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He is listed as a fugitive from justice in the National Crime Information Center database that is accessible to law enforcement agencies nationwide.
Marshals have now set up a tip line exclusively dedicated to tips about Scott’s possible whereabouts.
Report tips to the U.S. Marshals tip line at 202-307-9100 or log on to www.usmarshals.gov to leave a tip.
“We are offering a reward,” Smiles said, “because we want information that will help us find him.”
On July 30, Alabama investigators found Scott’s abandoned dinghy about a mile offshore. In it, they found what appeared to be a suicide note and handgun tied to a rope.
After a seven-day search by air and water, Orange Beach investigators and the Coast Guard called off the search for Scott’s body.
An Alabama investigator said it is unusual for a body not to surface after that much time in the Gulf of Mexico. A lack of forensic evidence, and his withdrawal of $45,000 from a retirement account, also raised suspicions.
As an Army veteran, Scott served in Iraq, where he received a Purple Heart.
Marshals have received reports of possible sightings of Scott in Denver, Colorado, where some of his family live, including two siblings.
Other search efforts, including one in Beaumont, Texas, that included a search of Scott’s father’s home, have shed no new light on Scott’s whereabouts.
Scott disappeared just days before he was set to plead guilty in a sex crimes case in Jackson County in which he was indicted on 14 felony charges. The charges accuse him of having sex with his 14-year-old stepdaughter and filming her simulating sex.
He had already entered into a plea deal with the state, and he convinced a judge to push the plea date back in order to have surgery for ulcerative colitis. His family said he never had the surgery.
The mother of the victim talked about the alleged abuse in an exclusive interview with the Sun Herald. She said she knew Scott would run because he told he’d never serve a day in prison.
Scott’s alleged abuse came to light after the girl went to the hospital. When her mother arrived, she learned her daughter, then 14, was pregnant and Scott was the father.
The girl’s mother said her family has suffered emotionally and financially since news of Scott’s alleged crimes came out. The family has lost their home to foreclosure.
They live in fear, she said, and worry Scott may return one day.