Criminal Justice

Sheriff Asks for Help Finding Offender

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November 13, 2013 — The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from the public to find a wanted sex offender.

It says 31-year-old Stephen M. Rootes is wanted for a felony criminal arrest warrant issued by La Porte County Circuit Court for a sex offender’s failure to register.

Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer’s office says a routine compliance check by the Sheriff’s Office on Halloween determined that Rootes had moved from his residence in the 1100 block of Farrand Avenue, failing to notify the Sheriff’s Office of his change of address as required by Indiana Code.

It says Rootes’ location is not known, though some information suggests he might have relocated to Mishawaka, Indiana.

The Sheriff’s Office says, “Stephen Rootes has been identified by Indiana Code as a Sex Offender due to a 2007 conviction for class ‘C’ felony Sexual Misconduct with a Minor.  As a Sex Offender, he is required to register with law enforcement as such through June of 2021.  The charge of Sex Offender:  Failure to Register has been heightened to a class ‘C’ felony due to a previous, unrelated conviction for the same offense in 2011.”

The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office says it’s working with the St. Joseph County Police Department to locate Rootes, described as 5’9” and 145 pounds with short blonde hair and hazel eyes, missing his upper front teeth.  Anyone with information about the potential whereabouts of Rootes is encouraged to contact Major John Boyd at the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office at (219)  326-7700 ext. 2406.



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