Hundreds of sex offenders across the state unaccounted for

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Hundreds of sex offenders across the state right now are unaccounted for and FOX59 is finding it's extremely difficult to track them down.

According to the state's sex offender registry website, there are more than 300 non-compliant sex offenders. That means the sex offender failed to update their address or show up to the local sheriff's office for regular check-ins.

"When you find out they’re not living where they say they are, then you have to send manpower out to try to trace down all the evidence you get as to where they might be to try to get them in," said Lt. Nancy Marvin with the Delaware County Sheriff's office.

In Delaware County, there are 187 registered sex offenders; nine of them are considered non-compliant. This week, Lt. Marvin said she plans to file three more cases of offenders not updating their address.

A man named Eric Kempf is on the registry for a conviction of child molesting. Deputies haven't seen him since 2014. Of the others listed as non-compliant in Delaware County, nearly all of them have convictions for crimes against children.

They have been on the run for years.

Lt. Marvin said many offenders bounce from county to county or they move out of state. This becomes a huge challenge for a small department.

"It takes about two to three hours to get a report put together and all the evidence you have to have and the documents, so that takes an entire day gone on just trying to get those reports done," Lt. Marvin said. "When we have them moving out of state, it takes a little bit more effort to try to get that done, plus, we have to have the active warrants to get them out to the U.S. Marshals."

Sex offenders are catching on to the lack of manpower though. Lt. Marvin said many of them count on the fact that deputies can't monitor every offender 24/7. She said many non-complaint offenders are caught by tips from people in the community.

"The biggest help we get’s from the public, telling us, 'uh so and so’s listed at living a this address, and he hasn’t been here for at least 3 months,'" she said.

You can send tips anonymously to your local sheriff's office. Click here for more information.