A Florence man has been sentenced to 20 years for faking his own death during a child porn investigation, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Thursday.
60-year-old Harvey Cox was sentenced Thursday. He pleaded guilty in March to possession of child pornography and causing a rescue mission without reason. Florence County Sheriff’s deputies said they were planning to interview Cox on January 19, 2011 about alleged criminal sexual conduct with a minor. However, he disappeared around that time and his boat was found floating in Murrells Inlet on January 18 with his keys and wallet inside.
However, a two-day Coast Guard search was halted after investigators learned Cox had taken a cab out of the county the previous day. He was arrested in Florida nearly two months later.
Along with 20 years in prison, Cox must also pay over $51,000 in restitution to help cover the cost of the search-and-rescue operation. He will also be subject to supervised release for life.
Investigators say they found Polaroid pictures of a 12-year-old engaged in sexually explicit conduct hidden in Cox’s home. Federal prosecutors say they eventually tracked down the victim (who was no longer a minor), who said Cox had sexually abused the minor for several years.