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Mystery surrounds arrest warrant for Inverness street trader who faces 24 charges including rape and sexual assault of a child

By Val Sweeney

SCOTTISH authorities are remaining tight-lipped about the search for an Inverness street trader who went missing in the US ahead of a court appearance to face 24 charges, including rape and sexual assault of a child.

Shockwaves reverberated around the Highland capital after Kim Gordon was reported missing in mysterious circumstances in February on a notorious stretch of Californian coastline, prompting US officials to speculate that he could have faked his own death.

The 55-year-old, also known as Kim or Kem Avis, subsequently failed to appear the High Court in Edinburgh last month and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

But the Crown Office, which is responsible for administering the warrant, has refused to say whether it has actually yet been sent to the US authorities.

“The case is active for the purposes of contempt and no dates are set at present,” a spokesman said.

“There’s nothing further we can provide at this time.”

Gordon, who sold jewellery on a stall in the High Street and also raised money for charities, was reported missing by his 17-year-old son who said his father had gone for a swim at Monastery Beach in Carmel.

But US officials began to suspect he could still be alive after divers failed to find any sign of him after a two-day search.

In another bizarre twist, it emerged he sold the family home near Bunchrew in January before he went missing.

Izzie MacDonald, manager of the Caring and Sharing shop in Church Street, has known Mr Gordon since he moved to Inverness, mainly through his fundraising activities for charities including many swims across Loch Ness.

She also believes he is alive.

“I am very bewildered and shocked about it all,” she said. “I really don’t know what to think.

“If I was to hazard a guess, I think he is still alive.”

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