Hunt for sex offender with history of violence

Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 23:42:44-04

A violent sexual predator from Indiana who fled from the supervision of authorities may be in or around Hobe Sound.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office has issued a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for 46-year-old Rodney Eugene Hedgecraft.

Hedgecraft told authorities in Indiana that he was moving to Hobe Sound and gave them a forwarding address near the Hobe Sound Bible College. But when detectives conducted their predator and offender checks, they discovered that Hedgecraft had given the Indiana authorities a fake address.

"There’s lots of kids playing around the neighborhood," said John Bearslee, a local resident.
Beardslee has four kids. The thought of a violent sex offender roaming freely in Hobe Sound concerns him. 
"When you know that there’s a possibility that somebody is in the area then you take more precautions," added Beardslee.
That's exactly what Martin County Sheriff William Snyder wants residents to do. If they see Hedgecraft, call 911. 
"He does have an extensive past. He as a past including violence, resisting arrest, he has a rape charge from another state. He’s not the kind of guy we want walking around Martin County," said Sheriff Snyder.
The Sheriff's Office was told Hedgecraft would be moving to Hobe Sound. Deputies check up on 180 offenders and predators living in the county several times a year. When Hedgecraft didn't register as a sex offender in the county after 72 hours of his supposed move, detectives went looking for him.
"Mr. Hedgeraft does have a history of having been in Martin County. We don’t have a record of him actually living here but we know he has friends here, contacts here and the fact that he knew an address in that neighborhood down there by the bible college in Hobe Sound it leads us to believe he knows Martin County. He’s been here before," added Sheriff Snyder.
But deputies don't know where he is. It's a thought that scares Jeanie Ladd who is used to getting alerts when an offender moves into her neighborhood. 
"Sometimes I like to run at night when it's not so hot and everybody is always walking their dogs. It's a very family oriented area. It’s kind of disturbing," said Ladd about not deputies not being able to keep track of Hedgecraft. 
In addition to being a sexual offender, Hedgecraft also has a criminal history that includes charges of battery with a deadly weapon causing serious injury and resisting a law enforcement officer.

The public is advised to not approach him if he is spotted, but to call 911 immediately.



PLEASE SHAREABSCONDED SEXUAL OFFENDER The Martin County Sheriff’s Office has issued a citizen’s BOLO (Be On The...

Posted by Martin County Sheriff's Office on Friday, April 1, 2016