GREENWOOD, Ind (WISH) — Dozens of convicted child molesters and rapist register on the sex offender registry each year in Johnson County. But it’s not who is on the registry, but perhaps, who is not on the registry that causes concern.
Tracking sex offenders has never been easier. By now, most of us are familiar with online sex offender registries. Just type in a name, or address and find out who is in your neighborhood. But there’s one big problem; some are failing to report.
At the corner of Meyer Street and Acree Drive is where Bree Severado lives with her boyfriend and two young boys. In other words, her life.
“They’re everything to me. They’re my flesh and blood. Without them, I wouldn’t have the title mother,” she said.
Not far away there are neighbors Bree would rather not have. Using a cell phone, she looked up offenders in her neighborhood; six within a mile radius.
“Then there’s one that looks like it might be in Pebble Creek or one of the other complexes down there. That’s just way too close,” she said.
But it’s not the ones who are listed that causes Bree the most concern. It’s the ones who have failed to register. There are 168 registered sex offenders in Johnson County according to Sergeant Bill Pfifer. Pfifer manages the registry. So far this year, he says, ten have failed to register. Police resolved half of those cases. But, that means there are still around five offenders who have gone off the radar. Sgt. Pfifer didn’t’ want to identify them, because he says they are actively pursuing them.
“It’s a great concern. Anytime you have somebody, especially with it being a sex offender registry and violent offender registry, when you have somebody that isn’t playing by the rules and isn’t where they should be, that’s why we jump on these to investigate them,” said Sgt. Pfifer.
Failing to register can mean anything from just not registering to omitting information like social media accounts or place of work, according to Sgt. Pfifer.
“The last thing we want is that person re-offending and harming someone in our county. We want to make sure they’re all understanding the rules, playing by the rules, and doing what they’re obligated to do,” he said.
In most cases, offenders must update their information once per year. Sexually violent predators and those with federal convictions may have to update theirs more often.
Back at the corner of Meyer and Acree, Bree is doing everything she can to make sure her kids are safe.
“I’m definitely going to keep an eye out. I’m just going to be an even more protective mother than what I already am,” she said.
According to Pfifer, those who fail to register face felony charges. He says he’s confident his department will track down those who have failed to do so. For more information on who is living and working near you, click here.