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'Serial child rapist' on the run for more than 2 decades is arrested in Missouri, feds say

Herman Carroll, 72, who had child sex crime convictions in 1983 and 1993, failed to appear at a court hearing in 2001 linked to separate child sex assault allegations in Illinois, the U.S. marshals said.

A "serial child rapist" was arrested in Missouri after more than two decades on the lam, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Herman Carroll, 72, who posted bail in 2000 on allegations of child sex abuse out of Moultrie County, Illinois, had since disappeared and failed to appear at a court hearing in 2001 that was linked to the case, the Marshals Service said in a statement Monday.

Carroll was arrested Saturday in Branson, Missouri, authorities said.

Before he absconded, Carroll had been arrested July 3, 2000, and accused of the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.

In that case, he was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and criminal sexual assault, the marshals said.

The marshals had previously described the female victim as Carroll's daughter.

Branson, where Carroll was arrested, is about 390 miles southwest of Moultrie County, Illinois.

Carroll had previous convictions of sex offenses involving minors in 1983 and 1993, the marshals said.

It was not immediately known Wednesday afternoon whether Carroll had retained an attorney. His relatives could not be reached for comment.

On May 8, a marshals task force received a "collateral lead" that Carroll was most likely living in western Missouri. He was arrested three days later and was booked into the Taney County Jail in Missouri, where he awaits extradition, the marshals said.

Carroll was at the facility on no bond Wednesday, according to jail records.

In a statement in June 2022, the marshals offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

Carroll was a carpenter and specialized in trim finishing in new construction, authorities had said previously. He was known to sell stained glass on the street, the marshals said.

The marshals said in 2022 that Carroll might be hiding in homeless camps in Springfield, Missouri. Back then, the last confirmed sighting was at a park in Branson in 2012, according to the marshals.

During the years he was on the run, Carroll's case was featured on "America's Most Wanted" and "The Hunt with John Walsh," the marshals said.