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Author Topic: 13 yr old Alycia Nipp found dead- Hazel Dell WA- apparent homicide  (Read 21055 times)
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« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2009, 04:08:37 PM »

Hazel Dell residents outraged over sex offenders in area

HAZEL DELL, Wash. – Hazel Dell residents are outraged that they weren’t warned about a sex offender living as a transient in their neighborhood.

Now that sex offender stands accused of murdering and trying to rape a 13-year-old girl found dead in a field last weekend.

Accused killer Darrin Sanford was identified by police as a Level 3 sex offender – which means he is most likely to offend again, according to the courts. He was living in the area as a transient but had a GPS tracking anklet so police knew where he was at all times.

However, neighbors didn’t know he was living in their community – they were never warned.

  Background: Sex offender arrested in murder

"They should not be transient. If they get out and they are homeless the state should do something,” said Chris South, who lives near where Alycia Nipp was found dead.

Three blocks away, residents at Sam’s Good RV Park are furious that no one told them a sex offender was nearby.

"I think that's ridiculous. I mean, like, I have a daughter and I just think it’s crazy that there's some guy running around doing this, raping kids and molesting kids and we're not notified about it,” said Katie Perez.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is in charge of notifying neighbors but a spokesman said deputies typically only alert neighbors within a block’s radius.

“We will go out and flier an area if it's a known place that these transients are at… Mostly if it’s a commercial facility we won’t do that,” said Sgt. Scott Schanaker with the Clark County Sheriff's Office

Most of the area around the field where Nipp’s body was found is commercial, although a daycare is located in the strip mall right across the street.

Sgt. Schanaker said it's unlikely that Sanford posed a threat to the daycare since the children are always behind locked doors. He added that once sex offenders like Sanford have served their prison time, the state cannot force them into housing.

“I would like them [police] to control it better if they could. If not, find some empty island and put all them suckers on it, okay? Let them kill each other, I don’t care. Just get them away from children."

There are currently nine other Level 3 sex offenders listed as transients in Clark County.
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« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2009, 12:29:36 PM »

This just appeared on CNN, interview with the aunt. It seems this poor family had tried to do everything possible to protect her. With the increase in unemployment the homeless will be surely be escalating........

Can LE or probation officers have the resources to track the GPS reporting for sex offenders daily? By the hour? What is the value if this offender ended up living in an open field? I think these are issues that will need to be addressed but within the constraints from our current economy, my gut tells me there just will not be funds to address it.

By Eliott C. McLaughlin and Patrick Oppmann
VANCOUVER, Washington (CNN) -- When 13-year-old Alycia Nipp didn't come home from a trip to Wal-Mart, her family had no idea where she was, but a tracking device was transmitting the location of her alleged killer.

The quirky seventh-grader, who went by "Licy," could tell you the origin of every neon drinking straw in her collection and she "sewed buttons on everything," said her aunt, Amber Hager.

Her family thinks her free-spirited nature may be the reason she walked through a field popular with transients -- a field she'd been warned to stay away from and where her body was found February 22.

Licy's family had reason to be cautious. Hager was raped twice as a teen and Licy's grandmother was kidnapped as a child, Hager said, so the family was extra vigilant with Licy and Hager's young daughters.

"We all made Licy the promise that it would never happen to her. The cycle would end," said Hager, who is acting as family spokeswoman. "Now we're left wondering: What didn't we say? What didn't we do? How come she didn't listen?"  Watch Hager advise parents to keep kids close »

Darrin Sanford, 30, was one of several homeless people living near the field in an abandoned home slated for demolition, police said.

He was convicted in 1998 of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and luring minors with sexual motivation; he was sentenced to probation, said a Clark County sheriff's report. When he was released from jail in January, following a November probation violation, Sanford was fitted with a global positioning tracking unit on his ankle, according to the Washington Department of Corrections.  Learn more about the device Sanford wore »

Sanford was wearing the device seven weeks later when he tried to rape Licy before beating and stabbing her in a field a couple of blocks from the street where she lived, according to police.

Authorities said they used GPS to corroborate Sanford's confession. A Clark County judge this week postponed his arraignment until June so the defense and prosecution can prepare for death penalty arguments.

Sanford's defense attorney Michael Foister declined to comment on the allegations against his client.

Debate over GPS

The slaying rocked the enclave of Hazel Dell in Vancouver, a 15-minute drive from Portland, Oregon, and serves as fodder for those who claim GPS is used too broadly and bluntly as a tool for keeping tabs on offenders.

"They can't monitor it live, and even if you could monitor it live, him being in the field wouldn't have told you [if] he was murdering the girl," said Evan Mayo-Wilson, an Oxford University lecturer who has studied the use of GPS.

There are two types of GPS monitoring: active, in which the offender's whereabouts are surveyed in real-time, and passive, in which probation or parole officers check an offender's movements after the fact.

Sanford was passively monitored, said Anmarie Aylward, the Washington DOC's program administrator.  Watch Aylward explain how Sanford was monitored »

Both types of GPS are important tools for law enforcement, Mayo-Wilson said, but the technology must be coupled with other efforts to reduce recidivism, including treatment programs, personal visits and interviews with neighbors, family members and employers.

Sex offenders should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and supervision programs must be based on fluid assessments that weigh the likelihood of reoffense, said Peter Ibarra, a sociologist at the University of Illinois-Chicago who studies the use of GPS in stalking and domestic violence cases.

"You have to use it very responsibly," Ibarra said. "It's a technology that cannot stand alone, especially if you're thinking about using it with offenders who imperil the public."

Sanford was registered as a Level 3 sex offender, the category considered most likely to reoffend, according to the Clark County Sheriff's Office. He was listed as homeless on the state sex offender registry, one of 34 transient sex offenders in Clark County. There are eight homeless Level 3 offenders registered in Clark County.  See how each state handles GPS monitoring of sex offenders »

Sanford was living in a vacant home near an overgrown field where Licy's parents sometimes played paintball. The field, littered with trash, has "No Dumping" signs along its periphery and is buttressed by fast-food joints, Chinese restaurants and strip malls. The air smells of frying oil.

Resident Nick Holden, whose daughter was Licy's friend, told The Oregonian newspaper that the field was a popular shortcut -- "a kid highway." Though it wasn't necessarily deemed unsafe, he told the paper, "you ask the kids to not go alone."

Licy was told just that, but on February 21, as she and a friend returned from Wal-Mart, Licy said she wanted to cut through the field. Her friend declined, Hager said.

Police: Sanford unsure of his weapon

Sanford told detectives he met Licy near the vacant homes and walked with her to an isolated area of the field, police said. There, he attempted to have intercourse with her "but wasn't able to complete the sexual act," according to the probable cause affidavit filed in court.  Watch Sanford's mother say she wishes he was dead »

"After she giggled at him," continued the affidavit, "he was overcome with a violent rage and hit her with something in the back. She turned to face him and he kept hitting her, knocking her to the ground."

Sanford told police he wasn't sure what he hit her with -- maybe a stick, knife or beer bottle, the affidavit said. The 180-pound Sanford left the body but came back later and moved Licy, a scant 100 pounds, to an area where her stepfather found her early the next morning, according to the affidavit.

"His GPS unit verified that he was in the area and his movements," the affidavit said.

Attempts by CNN to reach Licy's mother and stepfather, Maranda and Jason Hannah, were unsuccessful.

On the day before his 20th birthday in 1998, Sanford was placed on probation. According to a sheriff's office report, a group of minors, ages 8 to 11, reported that Sanford had offered them money for oral sex. The youngsters fled, but Sanford approached them again in a sparsely wooded area of the playground, asking them if they wanted to go home with him to "play house," the report said.

Sanford violated his probation three times between November 2006 and November 2008, the DOC said. When he was released in January, he was required to check in daily with a probation officer, which he did the day before Licy's murder and the day after her body was found.

Technology, offenders misunderstood

Experts say GPS can create a false sense of security because its capabilities are overestimated. Jill Levenson, an associate professor of human sciences at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, said many people believe it is "some magic bullet or panacea that prevents crimes."

Levenson also concurs with other experts who say the technology is used too sweepingly. Twenty-seven states have some mandatory requirement that the devices be used on sex offenders, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only six states have no specific provisions for such monitoring.  See data »

Most sex offenders are neither violent nor pedophiles, and they re-offend in about one of 20 cases, said Levenson, who studies sex crime policy.

Because the media focus on the most sensational crimes, politicians often focus their energies on combating the violent incidents rather than the more common occurrences, such as people being sexually assaulted by those they know, she said.

UIC's Ibarra called it a "knee-jerk reaction" by lawmakers. He said he notices that "legislators often propose this kind of [GPS] requirement in the aftermath of some notorious act."

Added Oxford's Mayo-Wilson, "[GPS] could be used effectively to help shape behavior, but it's being used too bluntly."

GPS is more likely to work with low-level offenders while the technology's deterrent effect on the most dangerous perpetrators is limited, Levenson said.

"[GPS] is not necessarily going to deter people from having sexually deviant intentions," she said. "Many crimes are more impulsive and opportunistic, and that level of thinking may not go into it."

Homelessness itself poses problems among sex offenders because unstable living conditions can increase recidivism, Levenson said. Many states have enacted laws limiting where sex offenders can live, forcing more offenders to the streets.

According to a 2007 report by the Council of State Governments, 29 states have residency restrictions for sex offenders. Washington, which the DOC says is home to about 300 homeless sex offenders, forbids them from living within 880 feet of a school or daycare.

An example of residency restrictions exacerbating the problem is in California, said Robert Coombs of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Since 2007, when California implemented its version of Jessica's Law -- which bars registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school, park or places where children congregate -- homelessness among paroled sex offenders spiked 800 percent, Coombs said.

In large metro areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco, "the concentration of schools and parks is so high, the entire jurisdiction becomes largely off limits for housing," Coombs said.

The Justice Department did not respond to repeated requests to discuss the number of homeless sex offenders in the nation, but in California there are about 65,000 registered sex offenders, of which 3,267 are homeless, according to California's Sex Offender Management Board.

It's not only costly and unfeasible to monitor sex offenders, but allowing them to remain homeless increases their stress levels and instability, Coombs said. It makes for a "really dangerous cocktail when it comes to public safety," he said.

Connecticut reviews GPS policy

Bill Carbone, executive director of the Court Support Services Division of Connecticut's Judicial Branch, said the state recently reviewed its use of GPS.

Connecticut, which monitors more than 2,000 offenders, revamped its GPS monitoring after acknowledging the technology had its shortcomings, including error messages, lost signals and susceptibility to manipulation, Carbone said.

Coombs and Carbone also note that charging the devices can be problematic when the offender has no home.

"To some extent, it's been oversold and misunderstood," Carbone said. "I think it is a tool -- not the sole tool -- needed for proper supervision of offenders."

Hager said she is pleased authorities were able to use Sanford's GPS bracelet to make a swift arrest in her niece's slaying, but it makes her angry that a homeless, convicted sex offender was allowed to hang out in a field frequented by children.

Licy's family may never know why she cut through the field, and many other questions about her murder may remain unanswered. Hager said her niece's accused killer should answer one of them.

"My daughters keep asking, 'Why did the angels take Licy? If we pray hard enough will they bring her back?' " Hager said. "I just want to tell him, 'You explain to my daughters what happened to their cousin.
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« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2009, 03:42:21 PM »

Just 3 weeks after the brutal murder of 13 year-old Alycia Nipp across the Columbia River from Portland, we are told of a known, dangerous predator that "escaped" from a "treatment center."

When will we wake up that these predators cannot be "treated" and must be put away forever?

Violent sex offender escapes Portland treatment center

08:14 AM PDT on Friday, March 13, 2009

By KGW Staff

PORTLAND -- A dangerous and violent sex offender escaped a Portland treatment center Thursday, police warn.

William Dale Surrat, 40, has a long history of sexually abusing young girls and fantasizing about mutilating others.

Investigators said he could be anywhere but he has ties to Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Aloha and Beaverton.
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« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2009, 09:55:09 PM »

At least in this one case, this situation resolved rather quickly.  Thank God!

Escaped sex predator turns himself in

Last Update: 12:30 pm
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PORTLAND - Washington County deputies say a predatory sex offender who walked out of a Portland treatment center Thursday, William Dale Surratt, turned himself in Friday.

Surratt, 40, has a long history of abusing young girls. He is considered a dangerous man with violent tendencies.
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« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2009, 07:38:16 PM »

Mom of murdered girl hopes fire will bring some closure

01:40 PM PDT on Monday, March 30, 2009

HAZEL DELL, Wa. -- Friends and family members of a girl murdered last month in Clark County are hoping that a blaze set by firefighters will help them begin to come to terms with the horrible loss of the 13-year-old girl.

Twenty-two fire recruits from Clark County Fire District 6, the Vancourver Fire Department and Camas Fire Department set six abandoned homes ablaze late Monday morning, near the 8400 block of Northeast 13th Avenue, including the area where police say Alycia Nipp was killed.

With Nipp's mother standing nearby, along with a crowd of community members, firefighters bowed their heads and held a moment of silence on bended knees for Nipp before starting their training exercise.

“I'm hoping for a sense of closure,” Maranda Hannah, Alycia's Mother said. “I don't think I expect peace from it, I'm just hoping every little step just brings us closer to healing."

The crowd of people erupted in applause when the fire was lit. Most of the abandoned homes were boarded up and "no trespassing" signs were posted after the high-profile murder case. Many residents told KGW it was a site where transients camped out and the area should have been cleared out a long time ago.

“I think it should be done everywhere to protect the children. Kids shouldn't be scared to walk through their neighborhood and parents shouldn't be scared to let their kids walk through their neighborhood,” said Rebecca Parker, who lives nearby.

Alicia's body was found in the area last month. Police said she was walking home from a friend's house when she was killed. Police arrested homeless sex offender Darrin Sanford for the murder. They say he confessed to the crime. More: Nipp murder investigation ( )

Firefighters told KGW they acknowledged the sensitivity and emotion surrounding the area and hoped their training effort would make it a safer place, too.

“For us it's hopefully an opportunity for the community to move forward. None of us are going to forget. And the other side is you have 22 rookies who are going in and getting invaluable training,” said Jim Flaherty with the Vancouver Fire Department.
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« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2009, 07:40:20 PM »

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Washington state prosecutors have delayed arraignment of a homeless sex offender accused of killing a 13-year-old Hazel Dell girl as they decide whether he should face the death penalty, The Columbian newspaper reported Wednesday.

Darrin Sanford was to be arraigned on aggravated murder charges Wednesday. The state now has until June 5 to determine whether to pursue the maximum penalty.
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« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 08:12:32 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware/Of giving your heart to a dog to tear  -- Rudyard Kipling

One who doesn't trust is never deceived...

'I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind' -Edgar Allen Poe
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RIP Grumpy Cat :( I will miss you.

« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2009, 09:03:14 PM »

Man who killed Alycia Nipp pleads guilty; likely to get life sentence
Tuesday June 09, 2009, 6:01 PM

VANCOUVER - The man charged in the Feb. 21 death of a 13-year-old Hazel Dell girl pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated murder Tuesday during a hearing in a Clark County courtroom.

Darrin Eugene Sanford, 31, is expected to face a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole after he changed his plea to guilty in the murder of Alycia Nipp.

Sanford killed Nipp as she walked home from a Wal-Mart. He was arrested two days after her body was found.

On Tuesday, Sanford quietly told a judge that he understood the terms of the guilty plea as Nipp's family held hands in the courtroom.

"This whole incident has brought our families together," said Nipp's stepfather, Jason Hannah. "We've had our difference in the past, but we're a lot closer."

Hannah added that seeing Sanford at the hearing was "frustrating."

Sanford is a registered sex offender convicted of approaching children in 1997 between the ages of 8 and 11 outside Harney Elementary in Vancouver and offering them money to come to his house for sex, according to public records.

He had been released from prison about seven months before he killed Nipp after completing a sentence for various crimes, including failing to register as a sex offender. Sanford had relocated to a house near an overgrown acreage, which spanned several blocks, and was bordered by abandoned homes and was a hangout for transients.

Nipp and her best friend were walking home on Saturday, Feb. 21, when they came to that field that many in their Hazel Dell neighborhood used as a shortcut.

The friend did not want to take the shorter route, according to Nipp's family. So Nipp, whose nickname was "Lici," proceeded alone. Several hours later, the seventh-grader was found stabbed to death.

Sanford confessed to detectives that he stabbed Nipp to death after trying to rape her.

J.R. Yoseph and Michael Foister, defense attorneys for Sanford, released this statement in response to the guilty plea: "The defense team thanks the prosecutor, Art Curtis, and his staff for coming to a reasoned and reasonable resolution that insures the public safety and is in the best interests of justice in this tragic case."

Sanford will be sentenced in the Clark County Courthouse on June 22.

Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware/Of giving your heart to a dog to tear  -- Rudyard Kipling

One who doesn't trust is never deceived...

'I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind' -Edgar Allen Poe
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« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2009, 07:03:43 PM »
Man who killed Alycia Nipp gets life sentence
by Gillian Frew, The Oregonian
Tuesday June 23, 2009, 5:22 PM
Judge Robert Harris this week sentenced the man who pleaded guilty to killing a 13-year-old Hazel Dell girl to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Darrin Eugene Sanford , 31, killed Alycia Nipp on Feb. 21 as she walked home through a field that many in her neighborhood used as a shortcut. He confessed to stabbing the seventh-grader after he tried to rape her and pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated murder.
Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty in exchange for Sanford's guilty plea. The defendant made a brief statement expressing remorse at the sentencing, said a representative for the prosecutor's office. Nipp's family members also spoke.

Sanford, a registered sex offender, was released from prison about seven months before he killed Nipp, and authorities worried he might reoffend.

He was convicted in 1997 of approaching children outside Harney Elementary School in Vancouver and completed a sentence for crimes including failing to register as a sex offender.

Defense attorneys J.R. Yoseph and Michael Foister released a statement earlier this month in response to the guilty plea that thanked the prosecutor, Art Curtis, for resolving the case in a just way that upholds public safety.

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« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2009, 12:37:42 PM »

Sanford, a registered sex offender, was released from prison about seven months before he killed Nipp, and authorities worried he might reoffend.

I don't know the answer to this growing problem.  Yet, there has to be one.

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