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Man who faked his own death to avoid child pornography trial is arrested

An Iowa man who faked his own death to avoid trial for child pornography charges after nearly six years on the run has been arrested in Washington state, the U.S. Marshals Service announced Tuesday.

Authorities said Jacob Greer, 28, was a “survivalist” who had intentions to “live off the land” and hide out in abandoned cabins.

In April 2016, customs enforcement officers arrested Greer for the receipt and possession of child pornography, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Following his arrest, Greer was released on bond under pretrial supervision and lived with his grandmother in Des Moines, Iowa with an ankle monitor. 

An alert on May 31, 2016 notified Greer’s probation officer that his GPS device had been removed, triggering a search by multiple agencies. Officials later found Greer’s vehicle with a suicide note inside of it, but did not find his body. 

Authorities that same day then issued a federal arrest warrant for Greer. 

On June 8, 2016, investigators found a different vehicle in Flathead, Montana that Greer had bought with a $1,000 loan from a friend.

Authorities learned that he fled Iowa with money, a backpack filled with survival gear, along with a bow and arrows, the U.S. Marshals Service said. 

Greer was last spotted wearing a camouflage hat at a Wal-Mart in Kalispell, Montana on June 3, 2016. 

On Monday, officials located and arrested Greer in Spanaway, Washington.

He is currently at the Federal Detention Center in Seattle, Washington and will be brought back to Iowa where he will stand trial. 

U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Iowa Ted Kamatchus said Greer’s arrest is “a testament to the tenacity of Deputy U.S. Marshals and our investigative partners.” 

“Even though the case went cold, they would not quit,” Kamatchus said. 

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