Wanted, Alleged Henderson County Sex Offender Caught In Arkansas
By KENNETH DEAN
An alleged sex offender on the run for 10 years and once featured on "America's Most Wanted" was captured Monday and was awaiting extradition back to Henderson County, Sheriff Ray Nutt said Tuesday.
Nutt said Travis Wayne Jones, 50, has been on the lam since released on bail in August 2002 when he was arrested for indecency with a child by sexual contact.
Jones failed to show for a court appearance in August 2002 and a bond forfeiture warrant was issued. Jones was indicted on a separate charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child, Nutt said.
For 10 years, deputies searched for Jones, but until earlier this month the trail led them across the nation as he hopscotched from state to state, with sightings in Nevada, Colorado and Alabama.
Deputy Billy Jack Valentine, the department's warrant officer assigned to the U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Task Force, got a call from a tipster saying Jones was in Monroe, Ark., Nutt said.
The task force forwarded information to the U.S. Deputy Marshal in Arkansas to begin surveillance on a location where Jones supposedly was living, he said.
"He had a lady friend in the hospital and we thought he would go there to see her, but as it turned out they followed her to a residence where they found him in the backyard," Nutt said Tuesday morning.
He said U.S. Marshals saw the man in the backyard, and he resembled Jones' description.
"They asked him his name and he told them Nathan Reed," he said.
However, as he was taken into the home to show identification to prove his identity, the man bolted out of the back door, only to be apprehended by additional agents outside the home. He then confirmed to officials that he was in fact Travis Jones.
Nutt said the case demonstrated the need for the public's assistance in searching for fugitives.
"We had him on 'America's Most Wanted' once, but it was a tipster calling our office that led to his capture," he said.
Nutt said he was not sure if Jones would fight extradition or not.
"We're just glad to have him off the streets," he said.