#childpredator | FBI looking for Jefferson County sex offender 20 years later

“If this man has already committed this offense before, there is no reason to suspect he wouldn’t do that again. He is a particular dangerous person in that regard.”

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. — Police are desperately trying to find a sex offender from the St. Louis area, who’s been on the loose for two decades.

Bruce Emerson Sawhill has been on the run since 2002 when he was arrested and charged for first-degree sodomy charges in Jefferson County.

This sex offender has a history.

Back in 1989, he was convicted of sodomy of a 13-year-old girl in St. Louis County.

After going to jail and getting released, he moved to Jefferson County.

He befriended the parents of the next 12-year-old victim, Katie Griffin. 

Back in 2018, CNN spoke to her parents. 

The two were divorced and Katie would do the weekdays with her mom and weekends with dad.

After Katie confessed to her mom about sexual assault allegations, she asked to not go to dad’s house anymore since Sawhill was close friends with her dad.

Occasionally, Sawhill would babysit Katie. 

Heidi Suguitan is the Director of Youth Services at Safe Connections.

She said predators can be charming. 

“What we really need to think about is grooming as a community because offenders will be charming and win over the adults first,” she said. 

After going to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, Sawhill was arrested and charged with two counts of sodomy.

While awaiting for trial in 2002, he fled.

In the CNN interview, Katie’s parents said she got the courage to testify however when he fled, Katie died by suicide shortly after. 

To build the search, The St. Louis FBI headquarters got involved to help the Jefferson County Sheriff’s agency since Sawhill is a fugitive of justice. 

The FBI of St. Louis said this is a dangerous man and there is a reward of up to $25,000.

“The reward is just for locating and capturing Mr. Sawhill and not a successful prosecution. We just want to know where he is, locate him and take him into custody,”  Assistant Special Agent Mark Dargis said. 

The biggest concern is the potential for more victims. 

“If this man has already committed this offense before, there is no reason to suspect he wouldn’t do that again,” Dargis said. “He is a particularly dangerous person in that regard.”

Police said Sawhill may be in the area or even could’ve traveled to the Pacific Northwest, including Oregon or Washington. 

Sawhill has reportedly grown marijuana in the past and could be working on a marijuana farm. His original job was working as a drywall installer.

Sawhill also has false teeth, possibly upper and lower and has a distinct laugh.

If you have any information call 1-800-CALL-FBI or online here.


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