Vermonters thought Timothy Szad was bound for California, but on Sunday authorities got word the 53-year-old high risk sex offender was on a bus to Burlington.
"I think it's important for the community to be made aware of when there's a sex offender that's high risk that's being released into the community, to make sure that they can keep their own families safe," said Dennis Duffy, Director of the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations.
Szad popped up on the Vermont Sex Offender Registry Monday with a new photo and a Colchester address. Police say he's temporarily staying at an undisclosed hotel and working with a clergy group to find a permanent home. "I suspect it will be someplace in Vermont. I am not sure if it will be Chittenden County or not," Duffy said.
Szad was released from prison on July 26 after serving more than a decade behind bars for kidnapping and aggravated sex assault on a 13 year old boy. Days before Szad became a free man, corrections officials warned the public that the ex-con could re-offend and that his likely targets would be blonde teenage boys he didn't know.
"My job is to try, in these situations, to keep Vermonters protected and keep Vermonters safe. And that's really what we're trying to do here," said Governor Peter Shumlin Monday.
But police admit the public warning and constant media coverage could make it tougher for the ex-con to re-enter society. Szad's own family backed out of a deal to house him in Springfield after receiving threats, and his California housing placement also fell through.
"He is working with law enforcement and the state agencies and seeking services from somebody else to help him get residency. It's not that he's avoiding us. He was the one who notified us that he was coming back to Vermont. He's been in compliance with the sex offender registry and notifying them where he was last night, so he's doing what he's supposed to do," Duffy said.
Police say because Szad completed his sentence and is no longer supervised by corrections, he's free to live wherever he wants. He's only required to provide his address to the state's sex offender registry.