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Fugitive coach is buried in Vancouver

A Lake Oswego man's six-year flight from prosecution has ended in the grave.

Lawrence Cohen, 66, disappeared in October 2002 after he was charged with sexually abusing two male players during the mid-1990s. The boys were members of Gresham's West Villa Soccer Club.

Cohen, a jeweler who coached throughout the Portland area, was a resident of Lake Oswego at the time of his arrest.

A native of England, Cohen surrendered his American passport after his arrest. Cohen was preparing to face charges of sodomy and molestation in Clackamas County Circuit Court when he failed to appear for a preliminary hearing.

Family members reportedly posted a $25,000 bond, then he fled the country. FBI agents tracked him in Malaysia for about four years, said spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele.

While in Malaysia, Cohen reportedly changed his name to Gary Jones. FBI officials were nearing an arrest when Cohen died in July of a heart attack, said Deputy Clackamas County District Attorney Scott Healy.

The body eventually was transported to Vancouver in Clark County, Wash., where it was buried in a cemetery there.

Capt. Don Forman of the Lake Oswego Police Department told reporters 'that person was taken from Malaysia to Clark County where that person was buried.'

Healy confirmed that he was certain that Cohen and Jones were the same person and that the body buried in a Vancouver cemetery is that of Cohen. Healy noted that a funeral in Vancouver attracted 30 to 40 mourners, including Cohen's widow.

A lead investigator for the Clackamas County District Attorney's office reportedly has documents showing Larry Cohen changed his name to Gary Jones before he died.

Next week, Healy plans on requesting a hearing to officially dismiss the charges pending against Cohen.