A man faked his own death in an attempt to avoid penalty for raping his stepdaughter, who was found to be pregnant with his child, according to the US Marshals Service, which is now celebrating "the fastest apprehension of a fugitive in the 37-year history of the 15 Most Wanted program." Jason Blair Scott was found very much alive at an RV park in Antlers, Okla., on Wednesday, hours after he was added to the service's most wanted list, per the Washington Post. Authorities say a gun, blood, and a note with Scott's name and the words "I'm sorry," were found in a dinghy off the Alabama coast in July 2018, days before the Iraq veteran and Purple Heart recipient was to admit to sexually assaulting his 14-year-old stepdaughter in a plea deal out of Mississippi. Still, they doubted Scott, whose vehicle was found nearby, had actually killed himself.
Indeed, an arrest warrant was issued when no body surfaced after a weeklong search. Authorities say Scott had withdrawn $45,000 from his retirement account. Scott's ex-wife adds he had vowed never to go to prison. "Everybody tried to say he was dead and we kept telling them he was alive," she tells the Biloxi Sun Herald. She says her daughter cried at the news of his capture, and finally "feels safe." A caller told authorities in Pushmataha County about a man fitting Scott's description at the RV park hours before the case was featured on In Pursuit with John Walsh, per KIRO and the Post. The 43-year-old was going by the name Luke but "finally admitted to his identity after authorities verified his tattoos," the marshals office said. He's to be extradited back to Mississippi, where he'll face life in prison on 14 charges including sexual assault and child exploitation—to which will be added a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. (Read more faked death stories.)