MOSS POINT, Miss. – Authorities said they are searching for a 42-year-old man suspected of faking his death to avoid charges in Mississippi, where he is accused of raping and impregnating his 14-year-old stepdaughter.
News outlets reported this week that police in Orange Beach, Alabama, found an abandoned dingy belonging to Jacob Blair Scott just offshore last summer. Inside it was a note with Scott's social security number that said "I'm sorry" and a handgun tied to a rope.
Katrina Crouse, a senior inspector for the Marshals Service, told The Associated Press that investigators in Alabama and Mississippi said the scene appeared staged. She said a warrant was issued for Scott's arrest after the scene was discovered.
"Based on the conversations with local investigators, it is not believed that an actual suicide took place and that he is actively avoiding capture," Crouse wrote in an email.
Scott had disappeared days before he was set to plead guilty to charges related to the attack on his now ex-stepdaughter.
Marshals had looked for Scott in Denver after being asked to investigate a tip received by Mississippi Crime Stoppers, Crouse said.
Scott, a U.S. Army veteran, has not been found.