Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 27, 2012

Wanted sex offender in custody: Man who disappeared from PCH 2 years ago nabbed in Colorado

BLUEFIELD — A Mercer County man who disappeared in 2010 after being taken to a Princeton hospital now faces 13 charges of failing to provide changes to West Virginia’s sex offender registry.

Freddie Nelson, 40, originally of Princeton, was scheduled Tuesday for a preliminary hearing in Bluefield before Magistrate Susan Honaker.

Nelson was convicted Jan. 7, 2008 in Wood County for battery, sexually motivated, said Cpl. J.C. Long of the West Virginia State Police detachment near Princeton.

Nelson was originally charged with third-degree sexual assault. The charge involved a minor child. Nelson was also required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John McGinnis said Nelson waived the time limit on his preliminary hearing.

“It will be reset as quickly as possible,” McGinnis said.

On April 26, 2010, Nelson came to the state police for a sex offender registry update regarding employment, Long said after checking the arrest report. However, it was determined that he had discarded two cell phone numbers and failed to report this. People on the state’s registry have 10 business days to report any changes to their files.

“After he was arrested, in May or June 2010, he appeared in magistrate court in Princeton for a sex offender registration violation,” Long said. “He began complaining of chest pains.”

Nelson’s attorney moved to postpone the hearing, and Nelson was taken by ambulance to Princeton Community Hospital, Long said. He then disappeared.

The U.S. Marshals Service recently located Nelson near Denver, Colo.

“He had changed his identity and his family’s whole identity and was living out there,” Long said. “That’s the information I’ve gotten.”

Including charges relating to the move to Colorado, Nelson is now facing 13 counts of failure to provide changes to his sex offender registration, Long said. Each charge carries a possible penalty of 1 to 5 year imprisonment.

What made the case unusual was how Nelson changed his identity, Long said. Today’s information technology makes disappearing more difficult now.

“During the 1800s, he may never have been seen again,” Long said.

—Contact Greg Jordan at�

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