Couple accused of child sexual abuse on run for 18 years until wife used husband's alias for funeralPosted: Updated:
An Oregon couple wanted for alleged child rape and molestation evaded authorities for 18 years. But after the man died recently the woman was caught when she gave his alias for his death certificate in preparation for his funeral.
The FBI arrested Victoria Cravitz on Wednesday in Washington County, Mississippi, the agency stated in a release.
Cravitz's common-law husband, Leon Shaw, "died of natural causes at the hospital and questions about his true identity arose when generating a death certificate,” the release stated. She tried to use an alias for Shaw that was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, the FBI told ABC News.
She appeared in a hearing Thursday in the Southern District of Mississippi federal court and is expected to be extradited to Oregon to face charges.
Her federal public defender could not be immediately reached for comment.
Cravitz and Shaw had been fugitives since October 2000. Both had lived under alias names, with Cravitz most recently using the name Jennifer Larsen, according to the release.
The couple was wanted “for their alleged involvement in the sexual molestation of several children between the ages of 6 and 17 in Klamath Falls, Oregon, beginning in approximately December of 1989 and continuing until approximately February of 1999,” the FBI release said.
Cravitz and Shaw faced several charges including rape, sodomy and possession of a firearm, the release said. A federal judge in Oregon then “issued unlawful flight to avoid prosecution (fugitive) warrants” on October 12, 2000, according to the release.
“Our County intends to prosecute Ms. Cravitz to the full extent of the law,” Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello said in the FBI release. “Her and her husband’s abuse of multiple children have created long-term negative ramifications for many individuals. The allegations involve the kidnap, rape, and torture of a number of young girls since before 2000.”