(Host) The FBI has placed a Vermonter on its Ten Most Wanted list. On Thursday, federal law enforcement officials asked for the public’s help in finding Michael Scott Bliss. Officials want Bliss on charges that he repeatedly molested a child.
VPR’s John Dillon reports.
(Dillon) Thirty-six year old Michael Bliss lived in southern Vermont and was previously convicted for aggravated assault on three minors.
Officials say that two months after he was released from prison on those charges, Bliss began assaulting another victim in Vermont. The FBI says the victim was a 9-year-old girl.
Now, the FBI has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to Bliss’ arrest.
Bliss has worked as a delivery truck driver and has connections to Vermont, New Hampshire and the San Diego, California area. Bliss rented a vehicle that was found at Los Angeles airport last June.
Peter Hall is the U.S. attorney for Vermont. He says this is the first time that a person charged with crimes in Vermont has been placed on the FBI list.
(Hall) “In large part, it heightens people’s awareness of this person. He is designated, by having been placed on this list, as someone who is dangerous, and someone of whom law enforcement and the public in general, of course, should be extremely careful.”
(Dillon) Court records in the case are sealed, because of the age of the victim.
Hall says Bliss is wanted on several state and federal charges, including aggravated sexual abuse and interstate travel to engage in sex with a child. Hall says state and local law enforcement are also involved in the investigation.
(Hall) “I certainly want to acknowledge here Â¿ that this was a cooperative law enforcement effort. And it was principally undertaken by the Chesterfield, New Hampshire police department, the Vernon, Vermont Police Department, the Windham County State’s Attorney’s office, Vermont State police.”
(Host) Bliss is the first person to be placed on the Ten Most Wanted list for crimes committed in Vermont.
However, in 1999 the FBI placed James Kopp on the list. Kopp, who lived for a time in Saint Albans, is charged with killing a doctor in Buffalo who performed abortions. He was arrested last year.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m John Dillon.