Authorities search home of missing Fresno County rapist

FRESNO, Calif.

As Action News first reported a week ago, Spencer Scarber was reported missing last Wednesday, the same day he was scheduled to testify in his own rape trial. He has since been convicted, and detectives have evidence he may have left the country.

Scarber's facing the possibility of 70 years to life in prison on that rape conviction and detectives are looking into whether Scarber's parents helped him leave the country rather than face prison. They spent seven hours Wednesday looking for evidence.

In his parents' house, in the family's vehicles, and on their computers, Fresno County Sheriff's detectives collected all the evidence they could that might help track down Spencer Scarber.

DNA evidence and his own taped confession convinced a jury the 20-year-old raped a housekeeper at a neighbor's house. And because he broke into the house, took a cell phone from the woman, and used a knife to commit the crime, he faces 70 years to life in prison. But before his trial ended, on the day he was supposed to testify in his own defense, Scarber's father, a CHP assistant chief, reported him missing.

Kyle Scarber came out of the house briefly Wednesday as investigators wrapped up their search of his home. A week ago, he told the same investigators he'd last seen his son at 1:30 a.m. and pointed out an apparent blood stain on the driveway. He's posted missing persons posters in the neighborhood. But in court, prosecutors said those detectives determined it was all staged.

They said there's a photo of a vehicle belonging to Spencer's mother crossing the border into Mexico last Wednesday just after 3 a.m. The photo did not identify who was in the vehicle. But 80 minutes later, Spencer's mother and sister used their passports to cross from Mexico into the United States, on foot.

Investigators say Gail Scarber was in the house when they served the search warrant, but they didn't make any arrests.

Meanwhile, neighbors tell Action News Spencer Scarber was a good person who got caught up with the wrong crowd. But his criminal activity wasn't limited to Fresno County.

Detectives in North Dakota say they arrested him last year for possession of stolen property. That charge was dropped, but he was convicted of possession of marijuana while driving, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Less than two months later, he committed the rape that has his whole family under a microscope.

The CHP says Kyle Scarber is on vacation for the time being. Wednesday and over the last week, Action News reached out to him by phone, through email, and through his office, but he's never responded.

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