Scottish Man Who Faked His Death in California Is Jailed for Rape

It will not be unusual for the police to obtain calls about folks in misery at Monastery Beach in California — recognized domestically as Mortuary Beach due to its lethal undertow and steep drop into the ocean.

So when an adolescent instructed the authorities that his father had not returned from a late afternoon swim there in February 2019, the authorities started working, sending divers, a helicopter and a drone to go looking the chilly waters off Carmel, simply south of Monterey Bay. But the reported disappearance of Kim Avis, a 57-year-old man from Scotland, struck investigators as off from the start.

And they had been proper.

After an investigation that lasted months and spanned states and continents, Mr. Avis was sentenced final week in a Scottish courtroom to 15 years in jail on expenses of rape and sexual assault, an finish investigators stated he had tried to keep away from by faking his demise on the coast of one among California’s most scenic seashores.

A lawyer for Mr. Avis didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The waters had been cool on the night that Mr. Avis’s son known as 911 to report that his father had gone lacking, in accordance with Cmdr. Derrel Simpson of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office. The teenager instructed investigators that he and his father had traveled to California about two weeks earlier for trip.

On that day, the son stated, that they had deliberate to examine right into a lodge late, so he stayed on the shore whereas his father had gone for a swim sporting shorts and a neck lanyard holding his passport, Commander Simpson stated.

But as officers combed the realm over the subsequent few days, elements of the story started to fray.

The lodge the place the son stated that they had stayed had no report of them. The son stated that after they stayed on the lodge, that they had camped, however Sgt. David Murray, one of many investigators, stated that they had no appropriate gear. The son additionally instructed investigators that he had been taking care of their belongings on shore and didn’t see his father wade in.

“Nobody actually saw him go in,” Sergeant Murray stated. “We didn’t know the ‘why.’ Many scenarios were possible.”

Swells and currents are at their worst in the winter at Monastery Beach, named after the Carmelite monastery throughout from it on Highway 1.

A turning level in the investigation took place when the authorities contacted Mr. Avis’s kinfolk in Scotland. They had been instructed by kinfolk that he was on bail and going through a March 11 trial for expenses of rape, Sergeant Murray stated.

“We knew definitely that there was motive for staging his death,” he stated.

So on Feb. 27, what had began as a “missing persons” search veered into one other class: a “suspicious circumstance” report.

Investigators initiated a message to be looking out, alerting state and federal authorities that Mr. Avis was in the wind. Tips rolled in with purported sightings.

“We assigned some people to handle all the calls we were getting,” Sergeant Murray stated. “He was like the Loch Ness monster. Like sasquatch.”

On March 5, 2019, per week after Mr. Avis’s son reported his father lacking, a important lead got here from a lady who had an informal assembly with Mr. Avis in the Big Sur space. She discovered from information stories that the person being sought was the identical one she had known as the “crazy Scotsman” when she entered his phone quantity in her cellphone.

She described the automobile he had been driving, Commander Simpson stated.

Investigators additionally traced financial institution transactions, and the work hopped state strains into Colorado.

For some time, Mr. Avis managed to remain forward of the pursuit. He claimed to have traveled to greater than 10 states in the Western and Southern areas of the United States, sporting disguises, sleeping in completely different areas and hiding in the mountains, the U.S. Marshals Service stated in an e-mail.

But greater than 1,000 miles east of the seaside the place he had faked his demise, his accent gave him away.

On July 23, a Colorado Springs resident reported to the police {that a} man with a “British or Scottish accent” had been appearing suspiciously and utilizing a false title. {A photograph} and outline of the Ford Transit van that he was driving sealed the hyperlink.

On July 26, 5 months after he was initially reported lacking, Mr. Avis was tracked to a motel room in Colorado Springs.

There, in the parking zone, he was arrested with out incident by U.S. Marshals whereas strolling to his van, though Mr. Avis later admitted he had thought of operating from them earlier than being handcuffed.

Mr. Avis was extradited to Scotland, the place this previous April a courtroom discovered him responsible of 14 expenses, together with rape and sexual assault. Judge Craig Sandison stated that Mr. Avis, who used to promote jewellery from a market stall, had exhibited a controlling and dominant persona.

“You manipulated, managed and ultimately coerced women around you into becoming objects for your own sexual gratification,” he stated as he delivered the 15-year sentence.

In the United States, the Coast Guard had lengthy since ended its investigation. “Case closed,” its file on Mr. Avis says. “Hoax.”

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