November 18, 1999 04:54pm
Anti-Prostitution Man Faked Death
by: Scott Sonner
(RENO, NV) -- An anti-prostitution crusader who vanished, leaving behind his bloodstained car not far from two brothels, resurfaced 10 days later, admitting he faked his death to draw attention to his cause.
"I'm sorry I put everybody up to this, but I thought it was the only way to do it," said Milo John Reese, 54, who turned up Wednesday night.
Police said they may bring charges against him for the stunt.
Authorities launched a search for Reese after his car was found Nov. 8 a half-mile from the notorious Mustang Ranch, which was confiscated over the summer by the government. The car had a smashed window and traces of his blood.
The leader of the group Nevada Against Prostitution had last been seen by his wife the previous evening, when he claimed he was heading to a meeting at a legal brothel next door to the Mustang.
The disappearance was a mystery until last week, when Reese was spotted on a videotape withdrawing money from a cash machine in Sacramento. He turned himself in Wednesday to Las Vegas police.
Reese told sheriff's detectives he had tried to make it look as if he had been murdered.
"We know it is his blood. He put it there," Lt. Doug Gist said Thursday. He added: "We certainly are looking at any potential for criminal charges."
Reese said he pulled the stunt to draw attention to illegal prostitution. Prostitution is allowed in a number of rural Nevada counties but not those encompassing Reno, neighboring Sparks or Las Vegas.
Reese has been fighting legalized prostitution in Nevada since 1989, when he became a born-again Christian.
In 1993, he took out ads on interstate billboards near the Mustang Ranch with the message, "Warning: Brothels are not AIDS safe."
He also once chained himself to the door of the building in Carson City that houses the state Health Division.
Several years ago, he applied for a license to open a gay brothel, then said he was doing it to bring attention to the evil of prostitution.