Web site staffers track down missing girl, not police

KATU.com/September 14, 2004
By Shannon Cheesman and Shellie Bailey-Shah

Portland, ORE. -- The Clark County Sheriff's Office is drawing criticism for its handling of a missing teenager case, after the girl was found not through a police investigation, but by staffers at www.perverted-justice.com.

Clark County Sgt. Dave Trimble said police looked for Kylie Taylor, an autistic teen who disappeared from her Camas home, for more than two weeks.

However, in the end, three people from a group who uses the Internet to expose sexual predators were able to track her to a home near Tacoma where police say an older man was keeping her captive.

Police ended up arresting 47-year-old Stanley Sadler, who they say held Taylor hostage, tortured her and raped her. Taylor's hair had also been cut and died a different color.

Staffers at www.perverted-justice.com were able to find Taylor through what Xavier Von Erck, Director of Operations, calls 'good old-fashioned investigative work.'

How They Tracked Her Down

After learning from Taylor's mother that the teen had logged onto a poetry Web site, Von Erck contacted the Web site's owner, who gave him the IP address of the person she was chatting with.

Comcast Cable then linked that IP address with a home address near Tacoma and authorities used that information to find Taylor and arrest Sadler.

Court records indicate Taylor was repeatedly raped and videotaped in some sort of sex chamber within Sadler's home.

"It's sickening to me to know that she could have been recovered nearly days after she was gone, but it ended up being nearly two weeks or over two weeks," said Von Erck.

For parents who worry about what can happen if their children fall into the wrong hands, Von Erck's Web site provides an abundance of information and advice.

What Police Say About The Situation

Sgt. Dave Trimble with the Clark County Sheriff's Office says while investigators worked the case for two weeks, they do not have a deputy who specializes in Internet crime.

"We don't have the resources to do that and we don't have the people who are that knowledgable who can devote time to that sort of activity," he told KATU News.

After KATU's inquiry into the Taylor investigation, Sheriff Gary Lucas says he will now look into whether the department could have done a better job with this particular case.

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