The heat on convicted child molester Richard Carl Heeringa has been turned up. In April, he wound up in the number four slot on Denver's list of the top 25 most violent fugitives. Now, he's been added to the U.S. Marshals Service's 15 most wanted list for the entire country. Why?
As the Marshals Service notes, Heeringa has a shocking history of sexually abusing children. He served a twelve year jolt in Michigan after being convicted of a sex offense there, and shortly after his 2004 release, he began a relationship with a single mom with a twelve-year-old daughter. He moved in with the pair in Colorado circa 2005, giving him the opportunity to molest the girl for years -- until January 2008, when she finally blew the whistle on him.
Last year, Heeringa was found guilty on seventeen counts, including sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and failing to register as a sex offender -- crimes that could net him as much as 500 years in prison. But the same day the verdict came down -- April 15, 2010 -- he split, and no one's seen him since.
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Heeringa, who's six-feet, one-inch in height, weighs 200 pounds, and has brown hair, blue eyes and scars on his abdomen, right knee, upper left arm and face, once owned a construction company and could be working as a handyman, authorities speculate. And because he's both a martial arts practitioner and a hunter, they think he might be living in the wilderness -- perhaps in Michigan, where he was born, or other places where he has ties, including Georgia and California. But Coloradans should keep an eye out for him as well. After all, a reward for information leading to his arrest has been set at $25,000 -- and he's got two other sex-assault cases against him pending here. Call 1-800-336-0102 if you spot him. Below, take a closer look at his most recent mug shot.