|For Immediate Release||Contact:|
|November 01, 2011||Supervisory Deputy Charlie Ahmad, District of Colorado
Violent Offender Task Force (720) 748-2938;
USMS Office of Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
|U.S. Marshals Capture 15 Most Wanted Convicted Child Molester in Detroit|
|Washington – U.S. Marshal John Kammerzell and Douglas County Sheriff David A. Weaver announce the capture of U.S. Marshals Service 15 Most Wanted Fugitive Richard Carl Heeringa in Detroit, Mich., Saturday. Heeringa was added to the 15 Most Wanted list in July.
“The capture of predators such as Richard Heeringa, who ruthlessly preyed upon young girls, will always be priority one for us,” said Geoff Shank, Acting Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshals Investigative Operations Division. “I thank our deputies, and all of our law enforcement partners, for their tireless persistence in bringing this fugitive to justice.”
Following a two-week trial in April 2010, a jury found Heeringa guilty of 17 counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and failure to register as a sex offender. He is facing more than 500 years in prison. Heeringa had not been seen since he fled in the middle of the night on April 15, 2010, the same day the jury reached their guilty verdict.
Authorities were gravely concerned Heeringa would not change his criminal ways and therefore put forth every effort to locate and apprehend him before he victimized another young girl. Those efforts included dedicating significant resources to the investigation, issuing a federal warrant for Heeringa charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and adding him to the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted list.
“The capture of a violent predator such as Heeringa exemplifies the coming together of numerous local, state, and federal agencies. I am very proud of the hard work and swift action taken which resulted in the safe apprehension of Richard Heeringa,” said John Kammerzell, U.S. Marshal for the District of Colorado.
On Saturday, investigators from the U.S. Marshals Service Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team and Detroit Police Department Officers were contacted by a local citizen with information on a man they believed was on the America’s Most Wanted website. DFAT investigators determined the individual in question was Richard Heeringa, a U.S. Marshals Service 15 Most Wanted Fugitive and that the tip was credible. The citizen informed police Heeringa had been living in Detroit for approximately one year and was known by the alias Tim Thurman.
Deputy U.S. Marshals from Michigan worked closely with Deputy U.S. Marshals in Colorado to verify information about Heeringa and were able to further substantiate the person was indeed the fugitive Richard Heeringa. DFAT investigators established surveillance at the residence in question located at the 20000 block of Ohio Street in Detroit where Heeringa was believed to be living in the basement.
Heeringa, 55, previously served 12 years in prison in Michigan following a sex assault conviction there. Shortly after being released from prison in 2004, Heeringa met a single mother from Colorado.
In 2005, he moved to Colorado and began living with the mother and her daughter. He soon began sexually abusing the 12 year old and continued the abuse until January 2008, when the child came forward with allegations of sexual abuse resulting in his 2010 conviction. He has two other sex assault cases pending in Colorado.
“The Capture of Richard Heeringa is an extraordinary example of how multiple law enforcement agencies are able to work together to locate and apprehend a dangerous sexual predator. We can’t change what Heeringa has done in the past, but we are able to hold him accountable for his actions and prevent him from harming other innocent victims in the future,” said Douglas County Sheriff David A. Weaver.
The Heeringa 15 Most Wanted fugitive investigation received assistance from multiple federal, state, local and international agencies including the Douglas County Colorado Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Colorado Violent Offender Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Task Force, the District of Colorado’s U.S. Attorneys’ Office, Interpol NCB Washington, America’s Most Wanted and many more.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov