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Friday, April 13, 2007

Molester hides out in Grand Canyon

Grandcanyon After he skipped town last month, convicted molester Joseph Schwartz found an unusual place to hide: the Grand Canyon.

The Parkville man pleaded no-contest to accusations that he molested a girl in 2000 and was found guilty last month in Douglas County. He was out on bond until his sentencing in late March, but he failed to surrender to authorities.

Schwartzjoseph1 On Monday, the U.S. Marshals Service started looking for Schwartz, said Matt Cahill, who heads up the fugitive apprehension task force at the Kansas City, Kan., office. In their investigation, they learned Schwartz had bought a 29-foot-long RV and was probably headed for the Grand Canyon.

Marshals from the Flagstaff, Ariz., office started searching the park two days ago, with help from park rangers. They found Schwartz about 3 p.m. Friday and arrested him without incident, Cahill said. He had been camping in a wooded area away from other campers. With him was a woman who said she didn't know Schwartz was a wanted man.

Federal charges will probably be filed against Schwartz next week, Cahill said. (Photo of Schwartz via KSHB.)

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