Authorities have lost track of at least 22 convicted sex offenders in Mecklenburg County, N.C., and hundreds more across the Carolinas, exposing gaps in the states’ sex-offender registry laws. The registry is supposed to warn the public where rapists, child molesters and other sex offenders live. But law enforcement agencies acknowledge that hundreds of offenders do not notify local sheriff’s offices where they live and when they move, reports the Charlotte Observer.
Some sheriff’s offices, critics say, aren’t looking hard enough. The recent slaying of a Clemson University student has renewed attention over the strengths and weaknesses of tracking laws. Jerry Buck Inman, a registered sex offender, was charged last week with murder, rape and kidnapping in the slaying of student Tiffany Marie Souers.