To Catch a Predator -- Cullman County - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

TO CATCH A PREDATOR

To Catch a Predator -- Cullman County

WAFF 48's To Catch a Predator moves this week to Cullman County.

WAFF 48's Jeanie Powell and her photographer spent the day getting information on missing sex offenders.

The sheriff's office is responsible for more than 100 offenders in the county alone.

And depending on the nature of the crime, deputies don't just count on offenders coming to them twice a year,they go out to their registered addresses several times a year to get further verification they're living where they're supposed to.

But sometimes when they arrive on the doorstep, they find the offenders have slipped through the cracks.

Sheriff Ty Roden says six sex offenders in Cullman County have fallen off the radar.

Jeanie asked the sheriff, "Do you think some of them are considered dangerous?"

Roden responded, "Yes, yes, some of them are more of your predators... they're just outright predators."

His agency has been looking for Robert Summerford the longest.

In 2000, he raped a 14-year-old girl.

He gave an address on Logan Drive in Cullman to authorities, and we too found no one has lived there for years.

The grass hadn't been cut for sometime, windows were broken, the utilities cut off, and a master lock secured the door.

A neighbor across the street hasn't seen Summerford in at least a year and a half.

She says, "I just know that he was over there and when they put the flyers out in the neighborhood then they moved."

Edward Dean Thornton sexually abused a girl under 12 in 1996.

Roden says, "He also has a history of drugs."

Thornton's name is on a mailbox on County Road 1288 in South Vinemont, but Thornton wasn't there.

When Jeanie and her photographer approached the owner of a fruit stand next door, he recognized the man:  "That's Edward... he hasn't' been over there since the last four months."

His next door neighbor says in recent weeks he's seen Thornton's family, probation officer, and even the Cullman County Sheriff's Office make repeated visits to the house.

He explains Thornton's brother is concerned.

"He said, 'I don't have to have to talk to him but let me know he's still alive.'"

James Ray Miller was convicted of first and second degree sodomy in 1991.

He had multiple victims, 12 and 16 years old.

We knocked on the door of his listed address in Joppa on County Road 1815.

The door was cracked and the television on, but no one ever came to the door.

John Huston Wesley is 26 and has a heart tattoo on his right arm.

He raped a 15-year-old girl in 2004.

Sheriff Roden says Wesley gave them conflicting addresses and might not have lived in Holly Pond as claimed.

Wesley could be in Blount County.

Douglas Paul Johnson sexually abused a 14-year-old girl in 2004.

He reportedly told authorities he moved to Pell City, but never did.

George Donald Stewart sexually abused a 19-year-old female in 1984 in Ohio and has a robbery conviction under his belt.

Stewart has tattoos on both forearms and his right shoulder.

Roden says he's been in trouble before for not registering and could have run off to Ohio.    

If you have any information on these offenders whereabouts, please call Cullman County Sheriff's Office at (256) 734-0342 or you can email them at www.cullmansheriff.org.

The sheriff encourages folks to get onto that web site to see one if they recognize any of the offenders and also, if they see one who has moved and failed to notify them.

It's much easier for authorities to catch them earlier, than for them to slip through the cracks and out of the law's hands.

Powered by Frankly