U.S. Marshals return Hancock County fugitive
HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Wednesday night, the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force returned a Hancock County man who authorities say fled to Canada in 2014 to avoid charges of sexual abuse of a minor.
Matthew Murphy, aka Matthew Clark, was wanted by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office for two counts of attempted touching of a child for lustful purposes.
In September 2012, Murphy was arrested by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office on two charges of sex assault of a juvenile and was released on bond in February 2013. After he failed to appear at a scheduled court appearance in June 2014, warrants were issued for his arrest.
The U.S. Marshals adopted the fugitive investigation of Murphy and began an extensive search for him. On April 7, 2021, with the assistance of Toronto Fugitive Squad, U.S. Marshals took Murphy into custody without incident at a home on Queen Street in Dunnville, Ontario.
Murphy has remained in custody in Canada since his arrest and was recently cleared for return to the U.S.
“This really shows the success that can happen when multiple law enforcement agencies come together in locating a fugitive,” said Jeremy Stilwell, U.S. Marshals Senior Inspector. “No matter where they run, no matter where they hide, we’re able to locate these fugitives.”
Sheriff Rick Adam told WLOX News that Canadian authorities didn’t want to extradite Murphy to Mississippi because of the conditions at Parchman state prison.
Before Canada would agree to send him back, Sheriff Adam had to agree that if convicted, Murphy will serve his sentence at the Hancock County Jail.
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