A Scottish father accused of having simulated his death in the United States to escape accusations of rape at home was arrested, police said.
Kim Avis, who is facing charges of alleged rape and a series of sexual assault offenses, was captured by US marshals over 1,000 miles from the place of his alleged disappearance.
The 55-year-old traveling musician was arrested Friday morning in Colorado Springs, five months after his 17-year-old son told police that he had failed to return from a swim on a beach on the California coast.
But no trace was found of Avis at Monastery Beach – nicknamed "Mortuary Beach" because of the number of drownings there – and the police began to suspect a hoax after three days of research. Avis's teenage son could not remember crucial details, including the way the two arrived on the California coast after flying to Los Angeles from Scotland.
"There were no details," said John Thornburg, captain of the Monterey County sheriff. "The son, who reported him, could not even tell us where he had entered the water."
In March, Avis was spotted in Monterey County, northern California, driving a white Ford van. Yesterday, the Monterey County Sheriff's Office announced that Avis – also known as Ken Gordon-Avis – had been captured by US marshals, who are responsible for tracing the fugitives.
In a Facebook statement, the sheriff's office stated: "In February, the Monterey County Sheriff's Office received a report from Avis's juvenile son that his father had not returned from a swim to Monastery Beach.
"A lot of resources were used, including a coast guard helicopter, a sheriff's office drone and our diving team, to search for Avis, without success. We continued to investigate the case and learned that Avis was released on bail. for 24 allegations of sexual abuse in Scotland After talking to his ex-wife, we became suspicious of the drowning report, we interviewed his son again and determined he was not telling the truth, Avis's son was returned to Scotland with the help of the Monterey County Child Protection Services.
"In the coming months, MEPs have collaborated with the US Marshals Service, Interpol and the Scottish authorities to obtain an arrest and extradition warrant for Avis. Thanks to the efforts of the northern district of California, San Francisco, US marshals were able to obtain a mandate through Interpol and the Scottish authorities.
"Last week, US marshals were able to track him down to Colorado Springs thanks, in part, to a March report that Avis was spotted in Monterey County driving a new white Ford van in the Big Sur area. "
Avis is detained by US marshals until an extradition hearing in Colorado Springs at the end of this month, added the sheriff's office. He did not appear at the Edinburgh High Court in March, where he should have been tried.