Marshals hunt for fugitive Army vet in child rape case suspected of faking suicide

U.S. marshals have launched a manhunt in Denver for a fugitive Army veteran from Mississippi suspected of faking a suicide to avoid imprisonment in a child rape case.

Jacob Blair Scott, 42, who was with the Army for 11 years, went on the lam in Alabama July 30.

His mother and two siblings live in Denver, KMGH-TV reports. Marshals went in December to an apartment building in Denver and spoke to a worker who said he saw Scott.

Scott, of Moss Point, disappeared after agreeing to plead guilty to raping a 14-year-old Mississippi girl more than a dozen times, according to the station.

Initially, investigators suspected Scott killed himself on a sailing trip in the Gulf of Mexico. They found a gun and suicide note in his dinghy, which was empty and drifting in the water. The gun was found tied to the boat.

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But no body was ever found despite a week-long search, arousing suspicion.

The lack of blood in the dinghy also raised questions.

"Normally in situations where somebody is shot, committed suicide, you're going to have other forensic-type evidence. For example, brain matter, hair, skin, bone,” Deputy U.S. Marshal Katrina Crouse told the station. “None of that was found."

Equally odd was finding the gun tied to the boat.

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“Almost like they wanted to make sure that the gun was discovered,” Crouse said, according to the station.

The Biloxi Sun Herald reported in June that Scott was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after his military service. He joined the Army in 1996 and left in 2007.

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The paper reported that Scott faced life in prison if a jury convicted him of all the charges.