South Dakota fugitive one of most wanted by Marshals Service
The U.S. Marshals Service has added a South Dakota man who has been on the run for nearly eight years to its list of 15 Most Wanted fugitives. David Bonness, 48, is wanted by authorities in Pennington County on 17 total counts of pedophilia, rape...
The U.S. Marshals Service has added a South Dakota man who has been on the run for nearly eight years to its list of 15 Most Wanted fugitives.
David Bonness, 48, is wanted by authorities in Pennington County on 17 total counts of pedophilia, rape and sexual contact with a child. He was questioned in December 2008 about the alleged sexual assault of a girl over a span of about five years and fled before authorities could collect DNA from him.
He faces 14 counts of second-, third- and fourth-degree rape, with the seven most serious counts each carrying a maximum punishment of 50 years in prison.
"The crimes allegedly committed by Bonness are horrific," U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Director David Harlow said in a statement Tuesday. "We, along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, will make his capture our top priority."
The case has been designated a "major case" by the Marshals Service for several years, and made it onto the most wanted list "in large part due to a lot of hard work by the Black Hills Fugitive Task Force," Gary Bunt, a senior inspector in South Dakota with the Justice Department, told The Associated Press.
"Obtaining Top 15 status is not an easy designation to obtain considering all of the violent crime that happens across the United States," Bunt said. "To my knowledge, I can't remember a fugitive case generated in South Dakota receiving this much national attention."
The Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Bonness.
Bonness is described as a 5-foot-9 white male weighing about 180 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. He has personal ties in Wyoming and Nebraska, though authorities say he could be anywhere. Authorities said he poses a significant threat to the public.
"The U.S. Marshals and our law enforcement partners are determined to bring Bonness to justice and give some sense of closure to the young victim and her family," Paul Thielen, U.S. marshal in South Dakota, said in a statement.