Tracking sex offenders in Indiana
A registered sex offender who went untracked for nearly a year is back in jail. He is supposed to let police know every time he moves to a new address or takes a new job, but he failed to do so.
"You don't know much about your neighbors until you are here," said Dalton Powell. He just bought a house in the 2800 block of Elk Street in Lafayette.
Powell didn't realize the man living next door, 26-year-old Stuart Spikes, is required by law to let police know his whereabouts. Spikes is on Indiana's sex and violent offender registry for a 2006 conviction for holding an underage girl against her will.
Although Spikes is back in jail, Dalton Powell says things haven't changed much at the home.
"It's still loud, and a lot of traffic," he said.
Tippecanoe County Sheriff's deputies say Spikes told them he lived on Greenwich Road. But when Eyewitness News talked to Spikes' family off camera, we learned they had not seen Spikes in a year. That's about the same time prosecutors say the 26-year-old disappeared.
Court documents say Spikes claimed he lived in a shed the whole time behind his family's home, but the same court documents put him on Elk Street.
Powell suspected something next door all along, especially after seeing police there on more than one occasion.
"One day the police were here and it was right here. It was two different occasions and the other one was right in front of my house when I was working on it," said Powell.
Tracking what registered criminals do and where they go is a statewide issue.
Marion County Deputies just arrested convicted child molester Terry Gilfillen. The 37-year-old failed to let authorities know about his online social media activity and buying a car.
Earlier this month, Marion County Sheriff's deputies arrested 26-year-old Theodore Lamb after a standoff on the near east Indianapolis side. They were attempting to serve him warrants for failing to register as a sex offender and receiving stolen property. Lamb has previous convictions for battery, sexual battery, criminal recklessness and strangulation.
As for Dalton Powell in Lafayette, he's seen enough trouble next door.
"I always knew something suspicious was going on over there," he said.