MOSS POINT, Miss. (CBS Local) — Police are searching for a U.S. Army veteran they say faked his death off the Alabama coast to avoid child rape charges.

Jacob Blair Scott’s boat was found near Orange Beach in the Gulf of Mexico July 30, 2018. Authorities located an abandoned dinghy floating in the ocean with a note inside saying “I’m sorry” and a handgun tied to a rope. However, officials say there was no forensic evidence of a suicide.

“Normally in situations where somebody is shot, committed suicide, you’re going to have other forensic-type evidence. For example, brain matter, hair, skin, bone,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Katrina Crouse told KMGH. “None of that was found.”

Jacob Blair Scott (Credit: Jackson County Sheriff’s Department)

Crouse also noted that no body was found. “Normally bodies will float to the surface,” she said.

Investigators believe Scott, 42, faked his death to avoid child rape charges in Jackson, Mississippi, where he was accused of raping and impregnating his 14-year-old stepdaughter

Officials say Scott had withdrawn $45,000 from his retirement account and disappeared days before he was set to plead guilty in court.

Investigators believe Scott may now hiding out in Denver where his mother, brother and sister live. Police say witnesses spotted him frequenting the Golden Spike Apartments located at West Yale Avenue and South Federal Boulevard in Denver.