(NEW YORK) — One of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted fugitives may have avoided detection for the last eight years by blending into the Mormon community, an FBI spokesperson said.
Jason Derek Brown, 43, who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, is accused of shooting Robert Keith Palomares, an armored truck driver, on Nov. 29, 2004 outside a Phoenix movie theater.
Brown allegedly stole $56,000 and made his getaway on a bicycle before switching to his BMW, which was parked nearby.
Brown’s surfer boy looks, master’s degree in international business and hobbies, which include skiing and visiting nightclubs, are all characteristics the FBI believes may help the fugitive blend in, said Special Agent Manuel Johnson.
However, his familiarity with the Mormon Church could be a biggest asset. Brown, who once lived in Salt Lake City, served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in France and is a French speaker.
The FBI believes that Brown, using an alias, may be hiding among Mormons.
“It’s a possibility because of Jason’s familiarity with the Mormon church,” Johnson told ABC News. “Prior to the shooting he was involved in different types of fraud, so he’s not who he claims to be and we could see him taking advantage of people.”
The last confirmed sighting of Brown was in Salt Lake City in August 2008 when a friend saw him pull up to a stoplight, according to the FBI.
Brown is described as an avid golfer, snowboarder, skier and dirt biker, according to his FBI most wanted flyer.
“Brown enjoys being the center of attention and has been known to frequent nightclubs where he enjoys showing off his high-priced vehicles, boats and other toys,” the flyer says.
He has ties to California, Arizona and Utah. Brown is considered armed and extremely dangerous.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to his arrest.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire