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FL- Sexual Predator On The Lam Kills Himself

7-17-2008 Florida:

SPRING HILL - A detective searching for a sexual predator missing since Monday found his target dead by suicide Wednesday afternoon, authorities say.

Charles Heritage, 60, who goes by "Rick," took a bus to Pasco County upon his release from prison Monday for crimes he committed against small children in 2004. There he purchased "suspicious" items, authorities say.

That same day, he rented a room at the Quality Inn Hotel at U.S. 19 and Cortez Boulevard and checked out on Tuesday. He never fulfilled a scheduled appointment with his probation officer, authorities say.

Over the course of his investigation into Heritage's whereabouts, Detective Tommy Breedlove followed up on past residences of the suspect. He was led to a burned down house on Ostrom Way where Heritage once lived.

Breedlove found Heritage had hung himself in the woods behind the house, said Sgt. Donna Black, sheriff's spokeswoman.

Prison records show Heritage served three years and five months of a five-year sentence for two counts of providing obscene material to children, two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of lewd and lascivious exhibition.

Additionally, Heritage served prison time about 30 years ago in Indiana for sodomizing a teenager, according to a Tampa Tribune report.

The latest charges from Pasco County were a result of a sleepover at Heritage's house in 2004. Five neighborhood children, all 16 or younger, were at Heritage's house when he reportedly showed them child pornography and asked the youngsters "if they liked what they saw."

Heritage reportedly molested one of the children later that night and tried to coerce another one to perform a sex act. ..News Source.. by Kyle Martin

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