Missing Fla. sex predator Ernest Eugene Reigh caught in Vermont

Posted at 3:14 PM, Apr 28, 2017

The Florida registered sex predator who vanished after being released from state prison on March 1 has been captured.

Ernest Eugene Reigh originally failed to register his address with the St. Lucie County Jail.

He was last seen in Fort Pierce but officials ended up tracking him down near Burlington, Vermont, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office said he was found with the aid of tips by citizens and the U.S. Marshals Task Force.

"Thanks to the media who helped spread the word of Reigh's disappearance, to the observant citizen who provided the tip of his whereabouts and to the detectives here in our agency along with those in the U.S. Marshals Service, Ernest Reigh will now be returned to Florida where he will face additional prison time for violating the terms of his parole and release conditions," said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara in a statement.

Officials say Reigh's criminal record includes the sexual assault of a girl under 12 years old in St. Lucie County in 1995.

Reigh was an employee at the St. Lucie County Jail in the mid-1990s. He worked as an assistant at the jail. He was suspended in March of 1995 after the girl told investigators that he had forced her to perform sexual acts for about two years.

Reigh was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts and sentenced to state prison in 1996. A month after he was sentenced, he admitted that he lied during a trial when he said he was falsely accused.

Reigh also admitted to selling a machine gun for $500 prior to his arrest. He was found guilty of perjury, which added another year to his sentence.

When Reigh was released from prison, he was dropped off at the Greyhound bus top, on Okeechobee Road in Fort Pierce. He was supposed to head to his home on South U.S. 1 in Fort Pierce, but he didn't' show up to the Federal Probation Office to register his address with the St. Lucie County Jail.

Information from WFTS contributed to this report.