Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

November 15, 2013

Missing sex offenders

-- — When a 7-year-old girl was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered by a known sex offender who had moved across the street from the child’s family in New Jersey, the family fought back against the system. Their crusade led to a number of strict sex offender laws, dubbed Megan's Law in remembrance of the young child, across the country.

The main issue that Megan’s family fought against was the prohibition of posting sex offenders photos online. The Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that sex offenders' information, including address, and photos could be posted on the Internet. Since then, many states have passed much stricter laws, including the requirement that all sex offenders must be registered with the law-enforcement agency of the county where they reside.

According to the Lowndes County registry, there are 243 registered sex offenders locally. Anyone can go online and find their photos, addresses and offenses. There is also a place on the website for anonymous tips regarding these individuals, which includes both men and women, regarding any issues or concerns you may have.

Unfortunately, there are five locally registered offenders who cannot be located and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office needs the public’s help tracking them down. (See related story for names and photos).

There are warrants for their arrests, as they are violating the law by attempting to elude deputies. The office tracks them on a monthly basis to ensure not only the public’s safety, but their safety as well, in addition to their compliance with the terms of their convictions.

If you know one of these men, are related to them, work with them, or know anything about their whereabouts, you need to contact the Sheriff’s office, either through the online anonymous tip center or by calling the anonymous tip line (229) 671-2985. You can also call the office at (229) 671-2950.

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