Jacob Greer: Iowa man arrested SIX YEARS after faking death to avoid child porn trial

Greer was arrested by customs officers in 2016 on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography


                            Jacob Greer: Iowa man arrested SIX YEARS after faking death to avoid child porn trial
Jacob Greer was arrested in Spanaway, Washington, and is being held at the federal detention center in Seattle (US Marshals Service)
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DES MOINES, IOWA: A survivalist who faked his own death and fled the state to avoid a trial on child pornography charges has been apprehended after nearly six years on the run.

Greer was 22 years old when he came up with what he thought was a foolproof plan to avoid child porn counts in Iowa - fake his own death and flee to the wilderness of the Northwest. He was successful in evading the authorities for nearly six years despite some close calls. However, the US Marshals Service announced Monday, April 4, that they had finally caught up with the fugitive. Now 28, Greer was arrested in Spanaway, Washington, and is being held at the federal detention center in Seattle before he's shipped back to Des Moines to stand trial.

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Police said Greer is a "survivalist" who had planned to "live off the land" and hide out in abandoned cabins across the US and Canada. At the time of publication, investigators are yet to reveal where exactly he had been living, how he managed to survive, or if he had external help in evading law enforcement since faking his own death.


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According to the US Marshals Service, Greer was arrested by customs officers in 2016 on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. He was released on bail under pretrial supervision a day later and was allowed to live with his grandmother in Des Moines as long as the police could track his whereabouts with an ankle monitor.

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Over the next couple of weeks, Greer concocted his "suicide" plan. On May 31, 2016, his probation officer received an alert indicating his GPS device had been removed from his person. That sparked a multi-agency search effort leading to the discovery of Greer's vehicle, inside which authorities found a suicide note but no body. A federal arrest warrant was issued the same day. The US Forest Service linked another vehicle to Greer about a week later. According to investigators, the car was found at the Tuchuck Campground in Flathead County, Montana, where they said "Greer had purchased the car with a $1,000 loan from a friend and ... he had fled Iowa with money, a bow, arrows and a backpack full of survival gear."

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The suspect was last seen at a Walmart in Kalispell, Montana, just days before the vehicle was discovered, the Marshals Service said. Greer was finally was found on Monday by US marshals from the Southern District of Iowa, who worked with the US Marshals Montana Violent Offender Task Force, and US marshals from the Western District of Washington as part of a combined investigation. "The arrest of Jacob Greer after six years is a testament to the tenacity of Deputy US Marshals and our investigative partners," Ted Kamatchus, US marshal for the Southern District of Iowa, said in a statement. "Even though the case went cold, they would not quit," he added.

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