JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Lack of a death certificate or of a burial site and sparse obituary information led to talk in hip-hop circles that rapper Tim Dog, who owes thousands of dollars to women he was convicted of swindling, faked his own death in February.
The 46-year-old, whose real name is Timothy Blair, is best known for a 1990s song "F--- Compton" that criticized West Coast rappers.
Numerous media organizations have reported or referred to his death from diabetes complications, many citing hip-hop magazine, The Source. The story has since disappeared from its website and efforts to reach editors there weren't immediately successful.
One of the swindling victims from Mississippi told prosecutors that restitution payments to her stopped coming in around the same time Blair was reported dead, said Steven Jubera, the Desoto County prosecutor handling the case. He has since found no death records or any proof of where or how Blair died, so he sought an arrest warrant Tuesday, alleging the rapper hasn't paid restitution from the 2011 grand larceny conviction. A judge approved it.
"I have no proof that he's dead, so I have to presume that he's alive," Jubera said.
Blair was sentenced in August 2011 to 14 days in jail and five years on probation for swindling $32,000 from a woman who met him on an online dating site four years earlier. He was ordered to pay about $19,000 in restitution.
Blair is from New York, but had been living in Atlanta. The Fulton County medical examiner's office there said there was no record of his death.
Those at the front desk of the high rise listed as his last address said they didn't know of anyone by the name Timothy Blair living there. An email to his daughter wasn't immediately returned.
Attorney Stan Little, listed in court records as Blair's attorney in the larceny case, did not immediately respond to a phone message left at his office Thursday.
In a story earlier this month about rappers dying in their 40s from various ailments, The Associated Press reported Blair's death, but did not say when he died or give a cause. Neither did many other media reports.
The Mississippi woman who accused Blair of scamming her was featured last year on "Dateline NBC," along with other women he had persuaded to give him money.
Esther Pilgrim, of Southaven, Miss., told the program she opened credit cards to get money to invest in Tim Dog albums that Blair said he was producing.
After meeting online, the two spent time together in person at Blair's home in Atlanta. In the Dateline program, Blair said Pilgrim wrecked the record deal and cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Associated Press writers Kate Brumback and Jonathan Landrum contributed to this report from Atlanta.
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