Richard Carl Heeringa, a 55-year-old Douglas County, Colo. man convicted of child molestation and listed on the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted list, has been arrested in Detroit. Heeringa has been on the run since April 2010 and faces a possible 596-year prison sentence, The Associated Press reports.
According to Westword, following an April 2010 trial in Michigan where Heeringa was found guilty on seventeen counts of sexual assault on a child by a person of trust as well as failing to register as a sex offender, the day the jury reached its guilty verdict, Heeringa fled in the middle of the night and had not been seen since.
CNN International reports that authorities were tipped off to Heeringa's whereabouts in Detroit from a local citizen. Heeringa had been living in a Detroit home for about a year under the alias, Tim Thurman.
In July of 2011, the U.S. Marshals added Heeringa to their Top 15 Most Wanted list. "Richard Heeringa is a predator, who has a track record of preying on young girls," Geoff Shank, Acting Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshals Investigative Operations Division said in a press release announcing Heeringa's inclusion on the list of notorious criminals.
Heeringa has two other sex assault cases pending in Colorado and previously served 12 years in prison in Michigan following a sex assault conviction there, the press release goes on to state.
In 2004, Heeringa was released from prison and met a single mother from Colorado. By 2005, he had moved to Colorado and was living with the mother and her then 12-year-old daughter who, the U.S. Marshals say, Heeringa began sexually abusing. Heeringa allegedly continued to abuse her until January 2008, when the daughter came forward about the ongoing abuse.
Clarification: The daughter was 12 at the time that Heeringa moved in with the family and the alleged abuse began.
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