A 43-year-old Santa Barbara man has been arrested for allegedly aiding and helping conceal a suspected child molester who was apprehended in Guatemala recently after being on the run for nearly two decades, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Luis Procopio Urbina was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail Tuesday, with bail set at $20,000, said Sgt. Mark Williams.
Detectives believe that from 2005 until 2011, Urbina was actively assisting Jeffrey Reed Parish, 65, who is accused of molesting a 4-year-old Carpinteria girl in 1994, and was believed to have fled the country shortly after his arrest the same year, Williams said.
Authorities believe that Parish fled to Mexico, where he had been known to visit several months out of the year, and the case had remained open, with Parish listed on the Sheriff’s Top 10 Most Wanted list.
Urbina is originally from Guatemala, and still has family there, Williams said. Urbina allegedly sent large amounts of money to Parish through another person in Guatemala via Western Union transfers, Williams said.
Urbina also facilitated email communications between Parish and his mother, Vivian Parish, Williams said, adding that Urbina is the primary caretaker for Vivian Parish, who is 90 years old and still resides in Santa Barbara.
Last year, the sheriff’s Office Felony Fugitive Unit and FBI agents began to reexamining Parish’s case, and received new information that he was living in Panajachel, a small town in Guatemala.
That information was passed on to FBI agents in the region, who coordinated with Guatemalan authorities, Williams said, adding that Parish was arrested without incident.
Parish, who had been living under the name “Blake,” was immediately deported, and sheriff’s investigators and FBI agents escorted him back to Santa Barbara County, where he was booked on his outstanding felony warrant.
He was being held without bail, according to Williams.
Parish may have molested other victims in the early 1990s prior to his arrest and flight from the country, Williams said.
The Sheriff’s Department is urging anyone who may have information on other individuals who may be victims to contact the department immediately at 805.681.4150.