June 8, 2005 – Posted at 4:12 p.m. CDT
RIPLEY COUNTY, MO -- An audit conducted in Missouri discovered that 36% of sex offenders failed to meet their most recent registration requirements. But most counties in Southeast Missouri have nearly all of their sex offenders accounted for.
Convicted sex offenders are required to register for the life in the Missouri. Depending on the severity of their crimes, they must register during the month they were born in or every 90 days.
“We keep track of the sex offenders that reside in Ripley County and their notification dates and keep track of that and it gives us a good reference if we have a potentially unsolved sexual perpetration,” said Ripley County Sheriff Adam Whittom.
Sheriff Whittom says they keep a close eye on the 31 sex offenders in Ripley County.
“There's a great deal of paperwork,” said Sheriff Whittom, “It's always a priority to keep up with the list. Anytime we can have a good program and keep track of the names and locations where people live. If it's nothing else, it's a good investigative tool.”
Registered sex offenders must register as soon as they leave prison.
“If they're going to be living in Ripley County then we'll get a notice from the prison that let's us know that they are convicted sex offenders and where they're hoping to reside,” said Sheriff Whittom, “We try to make an effort to let people know if they're a persistent offender.”
To find out if a sex offender is in your neighborhood, you can log onto the Missouri Highway Patrol’s web site at: