In a sweep of 81 addresses provided by sex offenders in Chicago, investigators found that more than three-quarters of them were places where the offenders did not live or were abandoned buildings or empty lots, the Chicago Tribune reports. The findings raise serious questions about how many sex offenders are going underground to avoid monitoring as required by Illinois law. The state attorney general’s office zeroed in on offenders who had served their parole behind bars, often because they reported trouble finding a place to live. Investigators became concerned about these offenders because they are not under the supervision of parole officers once released and their number has risen dramatically in recent years.
“These guys have vanished into a black hole. They’ve gone underground,” said Cara Smith, policy director for state Attorney General Lisa Madigan. “The trail is cold, and some communities may be living with a false sense of security.” Officials believe that when they make their way through the remaining list of 350 or so addresses given by the sex offenders who are not under the supervision of parole officers and have failed to register with local police authorities, most will be declared missing.