After nearly six years on the run, an Iowa man who escaped an ankle monitor and faked his own death has been arrested 1,700 miles from his grandmother’s home, where he was awaiting his child sex abuse trial, authorities said.
The man, Jacob Channce Greer of Des Moines, was found Monday and arrested in Spanaway, Wash., the US Marshals Service said in a statement.
Mr. Greer, 28, described by authorities as a survivor, was being held at the federal detention center in Seattle until he could be taken to Des Moines for his trial. It was not immediately clear on Wednesday whether Mr. Greer had a lawyer.
“The arrest of Jacob Greer after six years is a testament to the tenacity of Deputy U.S. Marshals and our investigative partners,” Ted G. Kamatchus, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Iowa, said in the statement. “Even though the case got cold, they didn’t give up.”
Until his arrest this week, Mr Greer had managed to evade capture since 2016.
In April of that year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested him for receiving and possessing child sexual abuse images, the Marshals Service said.
He was released on bail and went to live with his grandmother in Des Moines. Under the terms of his pre-trial monitoring, he was required to wear an ankle monitor.
But on May 31, 2016, his probation officer received an alert that Mr Greer’s ankle device had been removed, authorities said.
A search for Mr Greer that involved multiple agencies ultimately led to his vehicle, which contained a suicide note inside, according to the Marshals Service.
More than a week later, the statement said, the US Forest Service found another vehicle associated with Mr. Greer at the Tuchuck Campground in Flathead County, Montana, which has seven campsites and hiking trails. and horseback riding.
“But Greer wasn’t there,” the Marshals Service said.
Investigators said they discovered Mr Greer bought a car using a $1,000 loan from a friend.
“He had fled Iowa with cash, a bow, arrows and a backpack full of survival gear,” authorities said.
He was last seen wearing a camouflage hat at a Walmart in Kalispell, Montana on June 3, 2016. Authorities had issued a public alert to be on the lookout for Mr. Greer.
During their investigation, authorities said they learned Mr Greer planned to live off the land in remote parts of the Pacific Northwest or southern Canada, hiding in abandoned cabins.
A Marshals Service spokesman did not immediately respond to questions on Wednesday, including whether Mr. Greer was living in the wild when he was arrested.