Wayne Silsbee is an Oregon man accused of sexually abusing children who has been arrested after more than 23 years on the run. Silsbee had been wanted by the FBI and local authorities since 1996 when a warrant was issued for his arrest. The FBI says Silsbee was taken into custody on May 10 when he turned himself in at the Oregon City Police Department.
The now-62-year-old Silsbee was accused of sexually assaulting eight girls between 1995 and 1996, according to the FBI. Silsbee was wanted on charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree sodomy, endangering the welfare of a minor and first-degree unlawful sexual penetration. Silsbee had been listed on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list.
Here’s what you need to know about Wayne Silsbee:
1. Silsbee Was Accused of Sexually Abusing ‘Several’ Girls Between the Ages of 8 to 10 He Had Babysat for or ‘Taken to Them to Various Events’ the FBI Says
Wayne Arthur Silsbee is accused of sexually assaulting “several female victims” who were between the ages of 8 and 10 at the time of the offenses, according to the FBI. Investigators said the assaults occurred between September 1995 and April 1996 in Clackamas County, Oregon.
“Silsbee was acquainted with each of the victim children, having either babysat for them or taken them to various events,” the FBI said.
On July 24, 1996, a warrant was issued in Clackamas County court charing Silsbee with several sexual assault-related offenses. On September 19, 1996, the U.S. District Court in Portland issued a warrant charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
“The Fugitive Felon Act, used to obtain an unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant, allows the use of federal resources to support the location and apprehension of fugitives from state justice. Federal authorities will likely dismiss the federal fugitive charge when state prosecution on the underlying substantive charges proceeds,” the FBI said in a news release.
2. He Was a Former School Bus Driver, Security Guard, Tax Preparer & Warehouseman Who Was Involved in the Adventist Church as a Musician
Silsbee had several jobs prior to becoming a fugitive, according to the FBI. “In the past, Silsbee has been employed as a security guard, tax preparer, school bus driver, warehouseman, and has worked for temporary service agencies,” the FBI said.
According to the FBI, Silsbee is a musician and was an active member of the Adventist Church. He, “enjoys playing musical instruments, including the piano, guitar, and handbells. In the past, Silsbee has played in handbell choirs.”
3. Silsbee Had ‘Shown an Interest’ in Nudist Activities, Including as a Member of the American Sunbathing Association, & Enjoyed Short-Wave & CB Radio Operation
Silsbee lived in Oregon City prior to going on the run, according to public records. The FBI said in its “wanted” poster that Silsbee had “shown an interest in nudist activities, including prior membership in the American Sunbathing Association.” The FBI said Silsbee is fluent in sign language and investigators suspected he would try to volunteer in that field.
“Silsbee’s hobbies include computer repair and programming, short-wave radio and C.B. operation, according to the FBI. Online records show that Silsbee was a registered radio operator in Oregon City in 1994.
4. Authorities Have Not Said What Silsbee Was Doing During His 23 Years on the Run & It Is Not Clear Why He Decided to Turn Himself In
There are still many unanswered questions about where Wayne Silsbee has been over the past 23 years and what he was doing during that time. Authorities have said he was possibly living most recently in Nebraska, but provided no other information about why that is suspected. The FBI previously said he has ties to northwestern Washington state, Colorado, Arizona, the San Francisco bay area and Springfield, Missouri.
It is also not yet known why Silsbee decided to turn himself in. Investigators are asking that anyone who has spoken to him over the last 23 years to call the Oregon City tip line at 503-496-1616.
5. Silsbee Is Being Held at the Clackamas County Jail & Was Scheduled to Make His First Court Appearance on May 13
Wayne Arthur Silsbee is being held without bail at the Clackamas County Jail, according to online records. He is facing two counts of first-degree sodomy, four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor and one count of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration.
He was scheduled to make his first court appearance on May 13.
Silsbee does not appear to have a criminal record from prior to the sexual assault charges being filed against him, except for traffic offenses, according to public records. Silsbee was charged with improperly displaying a registration sticker in 1991 and driving with an expired sticker in 1983. He was also accused of driving without insurance in 1990.
It is not clear if Silsbee has hired an attorney.