A man who allegedly faked his own death in 2018 to avoid rape charges in Jackson County is now facing new federal charges.
Jacob Blair Scott, 43, is wanted for allegedly faking his own death to avoid prosecution.
The latest indictment, which was filed Jan. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, lists three charges against Scott for crimes alleged during his time on the Alabama coast.
Those charges are false communications of a distress, illegal shipment and transportation of a firearm by a person under indictment, and false information and hoaxes.
You may remember his face from the summer of 2018, when the Purple Heart Veteran faked suicide to avoid charges of sexual assault on a young girl.
Scott disappeared on July 30, 2018, from Orange Beach, Alabama, just days before he was going to plead guilty to a case accusing him of raping his 14-year-old stepdaughter.
But before Scott pleaded guilty, he disappeared. Law enforcement found a dinghy boat floating in the ocean, a gun tied to the boat, and what they described as a suicide note with contact information for Scott’s family.
There wasn’t much blood in the dinghy where the note was found, but there was an unspent bullet with blood on it, police said.
“He left a note with a gun and small evidence that he thought would fool investigators into believing he had committed suicide,” said Jackson field office Supervisory Inspector Carlos Cosby.
And, he had withdrawn $45,000 from his bank account.
For a week, rescue workers and police searched the Gulf of Mexico for Scott’s body. He never floated to the top, which is said to be unusual for the Gulf.
Eighteen months later, Scott—an Army veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart during his deployment in Iraq—was taken into custody just hours after the U.S. Marshals sent out a national release naming him to their Top 15 Most Wanted List.
“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,” said Jeff Tyler, US Marshals assistant director for investigation operations.
Scott, who was originally from Moss Point, had been using the name Luke and had grown a beard to avoid detection. He was living in a RV trailer in Antlers, Oklahoma.
Investigators said a citizen called in to the Pushmataha County Sheriff’s Department in Oklahoma saying they had seen someone with similar tattoos as the ones shown on the Most Wanted list.
Scott was then extradited back to Mississippi and is now housed in Jackson County Adult Detention Center. He will face the federal charges, each of which may carry a sentence of up to five years, on February 9 in Mobile, Ala.
His trial for the sexual assault charges was scheduled for April in Jackson County, but has been rescheduled multiple times already due to Covid.