By all accounts, Colton Harris-Moore is on the move, emphatically heading east after a short run south from Washington into Oregon.
FBI and local law enforcement labs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota are testing evidence — including DNA and fingerprints — to see if it is indeed Colt who has left a trail of stolen vehicles, burgled homes and airport break-ins all the way from the Pacific Northwest islands to the Midwest plains.
The latest development is that South Dakota police have issued a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) for a young white male with a freshly shaved head driving a white, 2008 Toyota Sequoia stolen early Saturday morning and believed to be heading southeast into Iowa.
Colt has been moving fast since the middle of May when he left Orcas Island where he’d been wintering. Beginning May 13, there have been reports — some apparently confirmed by fingerprints or surveillance video that may ultimately prove it’s Colt, others are just crimes allegedly with Colt-ish M.O.s — on San Juan Island, Lopez Island, Camano Island, Whidbey Island, Kitsap County, Raymond Washington (the now famous note and C-note left at a veterinary clinic), Ilwaco, WA, Astoria, Oregon, Dayton, OR, McMinnville, OR, Boise, ID, Cody, WY, Yankton, SD and Norfolk, Nebraska.
Also in this last month, the reward for Colt has grown (listed at Catchthebarefootbandit.org as $9,000), and he’s ignored a $50,000 offer to turn himself in. As recently as June 16, a team of bounty hunters was combing Camano Island — accompanied by TV news crews — looking for Colt. The bounty hunters claim they were working off a hot tip that Colt was back on the island. Police, though, believe that Colt was, at that moment, relaxing, showering and eating in a South Dakota home while the owners were on vacation.
With all the movement and with Colt far away from the islands and forests he knows so well -- and with law enforcement dialed in on his modus operandi -- the risk of capture has reached an all time high for Colt. Supporters are now preparing for the eventual end of Colt’s run by donating to a legal defense fund set up by his mother, Pam Kohler.
Conceived by Kohler as a way to ensure her son receives the best legal help possible, she says that just a few bucks from each of Colt’s many fans worldwide (there are 60,000-plus following him on Facebook alone) would go a long way to paying for what promises to be a lengthy and expensive legal process as Colt fights his way through what may ultimately end up being dozens of charges in two countries, six states (and counting), and at least six Washington State counties.
The Colton Harris-Moore Defense Fund (supporters can use Paypal and credit cards) is hosted by Skepteon Investigations, a private investigation firm that specializes in criminal defense that worked on Colt’s last court case. Shauna Snyder, lead investigator, says she strongly believes in the concept of “innocent until proven guilty,” and wants to make sure that all the media attention hasn’t caused a presumption of guilt before Colt’s had his day in court.
You gotta love Skepteon’s motto: “Reasonable doubt for a reasonable price.”