Monterey, California: Northern California authorities say Kim Gordon, a Scottish man facing rape charges at home fled to California and may have faked his death last week off the Carmel coast.
A British busker who went missing from a beach in the US and is suspected of faking his own death was under investigation in the UK and due to face trial in a matter of days, it has emerged. Kim Gordon, 54, from Inverness, was reported missing on Monday, 25 February from Monastery Beach in Carmel, California by his 17-year-old son, who said his dad had gone swimming and not returned. Authorities spent 20 hours scouring the coastline to find Kim, a charity worker who also sold jewellery as a street trader and performed as a busker.
Divers and helicopters searched for three days after Kim Gordon’s 17-year-old son called 911 to report that his father vanished on Feb. 25 after going for a nighttime swim in treacherous waters in Monterey.Monterey County Sheriff’s Capt. John Thornburg says searchers found no trace of Gordon at Monastery Beach, sometimes dubbed “Mortuary Beach” for its deadly reputation. Thornburg says detectives began to suspect a hoax because the son’s account lacked crucial details, including where exactly Gordon was swimming.
Furthermore, the son could not adequately explain how he and his father travelled to California’s central coast after travelling by air from Scotland to Los Angeles.
Police said they became suspicious of the story when discrepancies reportedly emerged between two interviews his son had given to officers – leading them to believe Kim staged his disappearance. It has also emerged that Kim had been charged with serious offences back in Scotland and was due to face a High Court trial on March 11. He is wanted on 24 counts of rape in Scotland.
Commander John Thornburg, from Monterey County Sheriff’s Department, told reporters: “This person never went swimming.”
Commander Thornburn said the teenage son’s story started to “crumble and fall apart” after being questioned on how they got to Monterey from Los Angeles.
Commander Thornburn added: “We can’t show how they got here. Facts don’t start to match up, more questions start to get asked and that’s how this really started to fall apart for them.”
US Marshals have now been called in to help track down Gordon.
Commander Thornburn stated: “It’s their speciality; they’re very good at it.”
Scotland’s Crown Office confirmed that Kim, who is also known as Kim Vincent and Kem Vincent Avis, faced proceedings but would not clarify the nature of the charges. Kim’s son meanwhile, has since returned to Scotland. Captain John Thornburg with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, said: ‘The story we were given by the son can’t answer those questions and that’s where it all starts to fall apart.’ Community members said that Kim was well known in the city centre for his street trading, as well as his charity efforts including swimming the length of Loch Ness for Save The Children numerous times in the last few decades.
He was even hailed a hero in October 2001 after he stopped a man who was on a roof from jumping to his death. Kim told the Inverness Courier newspaper that he was ‘living the dream’ in Inverness after arriving in the city more than 30 years ago with his horse, Jimmy. He lived in a caravan before building his own home outside the city.
His son has since returned home and has not been charged with any crimes.The U.S. Marshals Service is helping search for Gordon.