Convicted rapist arrested in Mexico, CHP chief accused

FRESNO, Calif.

His father is accused of helping his son escape to Mexico for two months.

Action News broke the story of Spencer Scarber's disappearance in December, and we broke the story of Saturday's arrests as well, which included Scarber's mother and sister.

Mexican immigration officials arrested Spencer Scarber Thursday, but he was using a fake name so they didn't exactly know who they had.

Fresno county investigators figured it out pretty quickly, though, and brought him back today.

His hair is now dyed blonde, a goatee is growing on his chin and some new tattoos cover his skin, but Spencer Scarber is going back to the same jail he's been in before.

The convicted rapist had few words for an Action News reporter as he arrived at the sheriff's headquarters Saturday.

"Got anything to say?" a reporter asked him. "Not much," he said. "Not much? Nothing?" the reporter asked, but Scarber said nothing more as he entered the building in handcuffs.

Two months ago, Spencer Scarber disappeared on the same day he was supposed to testify in his own defense in his rape trial.

But his father Kyle – an assistant chief with the CHP's Central division – reported him missing that morning, even showing Fresno County sheriff's detetctives a blood spill on his driveway.

Investigators determined the disappearance was staged, though, especially after learning a family car had crossed the border into Mexico a couple hours before the missing persons report.

Spencer's mother and sister, Gail Scarber and Crystal Reynoso, crossed the border back into the U.S. a short time later, but on foot.

"Spencer had left the area to purposely escape imprisonment and [we determined] that members of his family had helped him to do so," said Fresno County sheriff Margaret Mims.

Spencer Scarber avoided detection for two months, but detectives served a search warrant on his parents' house and found evidence that he may be using an alias in Mexico. They won't release the alias, but a person by that name was arrested in Acapulco and Fresno County investigators retrieved him with help from U.S. marshals.

Detectives also served a new warrant at the Scarbers' Squaw Valley home and arrested the mother and sister accused of taking Spencer to Mexico and also the CHP assistant chief who's now accused of conspiracy and filing a false police report.

Sheriff Mims says her office will do as much as it can to keep the family in jail.

"They are going to be in custody. They are going to be considered escape risks, so the places they'll be held in the Fresno County jail will be separated from general population," she said.

Spencer Scarber is now facing a life sentence in prison, so he won't be able to bail out of jail, but his family members could post bail.

The CHP commissioner's office in Sacramento sent Action News an email saying Kyle Scarber is still on leave and still under an internal affairs investigation. The commissioner says he will take "appropriate action" very soon.

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