Connects Against Crime

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Connects Against Crime: Missing Sex Offenders In Iowa

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:16 PM CDT
WATERLOO, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- The memory of a daughter he'll never see again lingers for drew Collins.

"It's the worst thing you ever go through," Collins said. "It just pretty much overwhelms you."

In the wake of the tragic deaths of his daughter Elizabeth Collins and her cousin Lyric Cook, he's using the pain to provide hope.

"Our community has been there to help us through the whole thing, so we just want to be there for our community," Collins said.

A quick check of the newspaper one day gave him an idea.

"Drew mentioned that since last summer, he was surprised to learn how many sex offenders there are in Iowa that are unaccounted for an undocumented," said Investigator Brice Lippert with Cedar Valley Crimestoppers.

Collins and Investigator Lippert came up with a plan.

"We figured social media, especially Facebook, is an excellent way to show people those sex offenders who are missing and get the word out,"
Lippert said.

It lead to this a weekly roundup of missing offenders one click away, either on Facebook or their website.

"When you have a missing child and you realize all these guys are out there and no one knows where they're at, it's just scary," Collins said.

While investigators say not every offender is bound to repeat, knowing where they are in a missing child case gives them an advantage.

"If we know where everyone is at when there is an offense, it gives a good place to start at," Lippert said.

So far it's working, with tips leading to arrests in Cedar Rapids to as far away as Oklahoma City.

"Very appreciative of that, but there are more missing offenders out there," Lippert said.

Meaning their mission is far from over.

"I'd like to see these people caught, and brought back into the system and kept track of," Collins said.

There's more hard work to be done - a small price to pay, after paying the ultimate price.

"I just want it to be safer for our kids," Collins said. "I don't want another family going through what we're going through."

Collins says he's working to have posters with the missing sex offenders in every sheriff's department in Iowa. To view the offenders, visit http://www.cvcrimestop.com/ and click ‘Sex Offenders’ or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/CVCrimestoppers?fref=ts
Connects Against Crime: Missing Sex Offenders In Iowa


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