Police, DOC approach search for missing sex offenders differently

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MARYSVILLE — A dangerous level III sex offender is back behind bars.

Marysville police captured John Stains Monday morning. He disappeared from a transitional home in Marysville nearly a month ago but neighbors weren’t notified until weeks later.

stainsStains once threatened to sexually assault more women so when Marysville police did a routine check of the transitional home in the 4900 block of 61st St NE and he wasn’t there, police immediately issued a public alert.

“It’s our community, we are responsible for our community’s safety,” said Marysville police spokesman Robb Lamoureux.

For Marysville police, time is of the essence any time a dangerous sex offender goes missing, and when a level III offender like Stains can’t be found, the rule is to always notify the community.

“We don’t take any chances in that regard; we let the public know,” said Lamoureux.

State Department of Corrections has a different set of rules. The agency actually knew about the 39-year-old’s disappearance as early as Sept. 5 when he failed to participate in a mandatory program. It took eight more days for DOC to obtain a warrant and get the information into a nationwide database.

“That’s the normal routine for it, you don’t automatically issue an arrest warrant because you have to see if if it’s needed,” said DOC spokesman Chad Lewis.

DOC says even after a warrant goes out, there is no legal requirement for the agency to directly contact local authorities.

“The answer is not to notify everyone. We would be sending out thousands and thousands every year; that’s not smart use of resources and that is not smart media usage,” said Lewis.

Marysville resident Jena Dolph disagrees; she has been living and working close to Stains.

“He has come into our gas station on two different occasions in the last few weeks; I had no idea it was him,”said Dolph.

Some say DOC should call local authorities every time a level III goes missing.

“Maybe his DOC officer in general should contact the police and say, hey look, he is wanted,” said Dolph.

“It’s not the point the finger situation here; it’s let us see what we can do to make it better,” said Lamoureux.

DOC currently supervises 3,400 sex offenders. They say that in some cases, a public alert is not the best strategy because it could tip off the sex offender. So what they like to do is evaluate a situation on a case-by-case basis.

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