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‘Serial child rapist’ captured in Missouri after 24 years on the run: Feds

An Illinois man who authorities labeled a “serial rapist” was arrested in Missouri this weekend after more than two decades on the run.

Herman Carroll, 72, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals in the Ozark city of Branson on Saturday, they said.

After being accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 2000, he posted bail and disappeared. A warrant was issued for his arrest the following year after he failed to appear at a hearing in the case. He was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, federal agents said.

Carroll had previously been convicted of sex offenses against children in 1983 and 1993, according to Marshals.

An extensive investigation into his disappearance involved multiple agencies and spanned more than a dozen local, state and federal jurisdictions, including six states: Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Alaska, Arkansas and Maryland. Last week, two fugitive task forces searching for him received a tip that he was likely in Branson, officials said.

According to online records, Carroll was being held in the Taney County Jail on Wednesday pending extradition proceedings in Illinois.

“Sometimes lawbreakers believe Branson is an ‘easy target’ to victimize our residents and tourists, or think they can safely hide here,” according to a Facebook post from the Branson Police Department celebrating the arrest of Carroll. “Nothing is less true!”

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