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Friday, March 6, 2009

AR- Action News 5 Investigates: Sex Offender Street

3-5-2009 Arkansas:

CRITTENDEN COUNTY, AR (WMC-TV) - Each afternoon the school bus drops kids off at the Lakeshore Trailer Park in Crittenden County.

"I do have six children," neighbor Elgie Sanders said. "They want to come out and play, but I don't let them come outside."

"They just want to lock their doors and forget about sex offenders," neighbor Pamela Hollingsworth said.

Sex offenders have clustered in the trailer park because of the success of law enforcement in West Memphis and Marion in making sure they don't live in areas they are not allowed in.

"There is a law that says you cannot reside within 2,000 feet of a property public or private or elementary school," said Mike Allen, assistant chief of the West Memphis Police Department.

That Arkansas law also includes day care centers, both public and licensed in-home day cares.

"It's pretty much ran anyone from being in the corporate city limits of West Memphis," Allen said.

It is much the same for the city of Marion.

"They've done a wonderful job of ridding their cities of sex offenders," said Tommy Martin of the Crittenden County Sheriff's Department. "Unfortunately, most of them have moved out in the county."

Which takes us back to Lakeshore Trailer Park, where Martin says many sex offenders have clustered. An Action News 5 investigation discovered several registered sex offenders sharing homes at several different locations - 15 in all.

Elgie Sanders and her six children moved into Lakeshore a few months ago. She says nobody told her about the sex offenders.

"They don't need to be here either, because there's a lot of kids stay up around here, and I see a bunch of them playing, but not mine," she said. "I don't let them outside."

It's the only place for sex offenders to go if they want to stay in Crittenden County, and law enforcement tells me the sex offenders are checking in like they are supposed to.

One of those sex offenders, Charles Yarbrough - a convicted rapist - was murdered in his Lakeshore trailer last month. The sheriff's department says the murder does not appear to have anything to do with the fact that Yarbrough was a sex offender. ..Source.. by Janice Broach

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