Fugitive sex offender captured after 10 years

HENDERSON COUNTY (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - An alleged sex offender who has been on the run for 10 years has been captured and now awaits extradition back to Henderson County, Sheriff Ray Nutt said today.

Nutt said Travis Wayne Jones, 50, has been on the lam since he was released on bail in August 2002 when he was arrested for indecency with a child by sexual contact.

Nutt said Jones failed to show for a court appearance in August 2002 and a bond forfeiture warrant was issued and Jones was indicted on a separate charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

For 10 years deputies have searched for Jones, but until earlier this month the trail had led them across the nation as Jones moved from state to state, being seen in Nevada, Colorado and Alabama.

Nutt said Deputy Billy Jack Valentine, the department's warrant officer who is 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 was supposedly living.

"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 the backyard," Nutt said via phone this morning.

He said a man seen in the backyard by U.S. Marshals 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 who he said he was, Jones bolted out of the back door only to be apprehended by additional agents outside the home. He then confirmed 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.


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