The mystery disappearance of a Highland busker suspected of faking his own death in the US has taken a bizarre new twist as it has emerged he sold his home before his disappearance.
Kim Avis, also known as Kim Gordon, who was a street trader in Inverness, was reported missing last month after it was claimed he had failed to return from swimming in the sea in California.
However, American police said they suspected his disappearance had been deliberately staged.
The 54-year-old, who is facing multiple rape and sex charges dating over 20 years in Scotland, put his Highland home up for sale before he went missing.
The house has now changed hands and, according to its new owner, Mr Avis’ wife has quit Scotland to move to the USA.
Last week buyer Michael Dohrn, a retired consultant surgeon with NHS Orkney, said: “I bought the house in January. Mrs Avis has left the country. She has gone to the United States”
Mr Avis is variously known as Kim Gordon, Kim Vincent and Kem Vincent Avis. Well known in Inverness for busking and selling gothic jewellery from a stand in the city’s High Street, he has been praised locally for his charity fundraising.
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He was reported missing on February 25 by his son Ruben at Monastery Beach, Monterey, California. who told the police that he had gone for a hike while his father went for a swim.
Commander John Thornburg, from Monterey Sheriff’s Department, went on TV to say: “This person never went swimming”.
Mr Avis subsequently failed to appear at the High Court in Edinburgh on March 11 where he was due to stand trial for multiple charges of sexual offences.
It is not known exactly when his wife left the property, called the Wolves Den, but she has previously said it would be “inappropriate” to comment.
The house sits high in the hills above Bunchrew, near Inverness. In January it was valued at £221,000 but Mr Dohrn declined to say how much he had paid for it.
Mr Avis’ wife had been selling several items of furniture via her Facebook profile, but the account has since been closed and her family declined to comment.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: Police Scotland has been made aware that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Kim Gordon after he failed to appear at the High Court in Edinburgh on 11 March. We are actively progressing enquiries to execute this warrant”.
A spokesman for the US Marshals said they had not received an official request to start hunting for Mr Avis.