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Iowa Man Who Faked His Death to Avoid Trial Is Arrested

After nearly six years on the run, an Iowa man who slipped out of an ankle monitor and faked his own death has been arrested 1,700 miles from his grandmother’s home, where he had been awaiting trial on child sexual abuse imagery charges, the authorities said.

The man, Jacob Channce Greer of Des Moines, was found on Monday and arrested in Spanaway, Wash., the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement.

Mr. Greer, 28, who was described by the authorities as a survivalist, 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 went cold, they would not quit.”

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 on charges of receipt and possession of child sexual abuse imagery, the Marshals Service said.

He was released on bond and went to live with his grandmother in Des Moines. Under the terms of his pretrial supervision, 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, the authorities said.

A search for Mr. Greer that drew on several agencies eventually led to his vehicle, which had a suicide note inside, according to the Marshals Service.

More than a week later, the statement said, the U.S. Forest Service found another vehicle associated with Mr. Greer at the Tuchuck Campground in Flathead County, Mont., which has seven campsites and trails for hiking and horseback riding.

“But Greer was not there,” the Marshals Service said.

Investigators said they discovered that Mr. Greer had bought a car using a $1,000 loan from a friend.

“He had fled Iowa with money, a bow, arrows and a backpack full of survival gear,” the authorities said.

He had last been seen wearing a camouflage hat at a Walmart in Kalispell, Mont., on June 3, 2016. The authorities had issued a public alert to be on the lookout for Mr. Greer.

During their investigation, the authorities said, they learned that Mr. Greer planned to live off the land in remote areas of the Pacific Northwest or southern Canada, hiding out in abandoned cabins.

Mr. Greer was found on Monday in a residence in Spanaway, Wash., where he had been living the past six to 12 months, Mike Powell, supervisory deputy U.S. marshal for the Southern District of Iowa, said in a phone interview.

He said investigators believed Mr. Greer was living “off the grid” in the wilderness for two months after he absconded in June 2016.

“After that, we think he probably traveled to the state of Washington,” Mr. Powell said, adding that for four to five years, he was living in homeless shelters “and taking odd jobs when he could.”

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