Local authorities have accused a Scottish tourist of faking his own drowning to avoid prosecution in his homeland for two dozen rape charges.
Kim Gordon, from Edinburgh, reportedly went missing while diving off the coast of Carmel in California on February 25.
His 17-year-old son told local police that his father had gone into the water at Monastery Beach about 7.15pm.
The beach is known for its strong currents and referred to locally as “Mortuary Beach” because of a large number of casualties in recent years. Because of these deaths, fences have been installed to keep people away from the waters, according to theLos Angeles Times.
An extensive search was launched by local authorities to try and try and locate Mr Gordon, with co-ordinated efforts by the US Coast Guard and State Park’s Department, who used a drone and helicopter to search deep waters.
They were unable to find Mr Gordon’s body after several days of searching.
Investigators turned their searches to his background, and found Mr Gordon was scheduled to be tried for two dozen counts of rape. At this point they began to suspect he may have faked his own death.
California police said within hours of making the initial report of his father missing in the water, Mr Gordon’s son’s story began to crumble.
“The son can’t answer those questions and that’s where it all starts to fall apart,” said Sheriff’s Captain John Thornburg told local news station KION on Tuesday.
“That’s what led to where we are today and why we think what we think.”
Nobody saw Mr Gordon enter or exit the water, according to KION.
Police are now searching for Mr Gordon, believing him to be a fugitive on the run from Scottish law enforcement.
The son, who has returned to Scotland, could also face charges if he is found to have misled law enforcement officials.