Fugitive who faked death to avoid child rape charges arrested after being added to Most Wanted list

Jacob Blair Scott, 43, is now a Marshals’ 15 Most Wanted fugitive, and authorities are asking the public for information that could lead to his arrest.
Caption
Jacob Blair Scott, 43, is now a Marshals’ 15 Most Wanted fugitive, and authorities are asking the public for information that could lead to his arrest.

Credit: usmarshals.gov

Credit: usmarshals.gov

Authorities have apprehended a Mississippi man suspected of faking his own death to avoid facing charges after being accused of raping his 14-year-old stepdaughter, officials with the U.S. Marshals Service announced Thursday.

Jacob Blair Scott, 43, was apprehended less than 24 hours after marshals added him to their 15 Most Wanted list, authorities said. He was arrested around midnight Wednesday in an RV park in Antlers, Oklahoma, marshals said.

Scott, a survivalist and military veteran, was wanted on charges including sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a child. He had previously been arrested to face accusations he sexually abused his stepdaughter, but he failed to appear in July 2018 for a scheduled court appearance. Authorities said they found his abandoned dinghy off the coast of Orange Beach, Alabama, a short while later. Inside, officials said they found a gun and a note, but they never found Scott's body and they later learned he had taken $45,000 out of a bank account before he vanished.

Marshals announced Scott had been added to their Most Wanted list on Wednesday. They credited his quick apprehension Thursday on the nationwide media attention that followed the announcement.

“This all-out media blitz led to a critical citizen tip that ultimately resulted in the fastest apprehension of a fugitive in the 37-year history of the 15 Most Wanted program,” U.S. Marshals Assistant Director for Investigative Operations Jeff Tyler said Thursday in a news release.

U.S. Marshals Inspector Jeremy Stilwell said a tipster called the Pushmataha County Sheriff’s Office in Oklahoma within hours of the announcement and reported that a man fitting Scott’s description had been staying at an RV park.

“After sheriff’s deputies looked up Scott’s information, they saw he was wanted by the marshals and immediately relayed the tip to us," Stilwell said. "We then worked with the local authorities to develop a plan for his arrest.”

Authorities said they found Scott in the trailer he had reportedly been living in. At first, he refused to acknowledge his identity, but after investigators identified his tattoos, he admitted he was Scott, marshals said.

The victim's mother told the Biloxi Sun Herald on Thursday that her daughter "feels safe now."

"We are happy. We are very happy and my daughter just cried," she told the newspaper. "We knew the whole time that he was alive and everybody tried to say he was dead and we kept telling them he was alive."

Scott was being held Thursday at Pittsburg County Jail in Oklahoma ahead of extradition to Mississippi.