Missing sex offender in custody

A registered sex offender who left Island County without telling authorities is back -- the hard way.

Troy Salmon, a 39-year-old sex offender who disappeared from Oak Harbor this summer without notifying the Island County Sheriff's Office, was recently brought back to Whidbey Island after being arrested in Maricopa County, Ariz.

Salmon arrived at the Island County jail Sept. 13. He was arraigned in Island County Superior Court Sept. 27 on a charge of failure to register as a sex or kidnapping offender. In leaving the county without notice, he could be sent back to prison.

According to Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks, the county was able to transport Salmon back to the county for free on what's known to law enforcement agencies as "the chain," a series of cooperative agreements between county jails that moves prisoners from jail to jail up the coast.

Banks said it took cooperation from local jurisdictions in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington, with the assistance of J.D. Burns, chief jail administrator in the sheriff's office, to get Salmon transferred to Whidbey Island.

Salmon was charged Aug. 7 with failure to register as a sex offender. The judge issued a warrant for his arrest and set bail at $100,000.

Under state sex offender registration laws, a convicted sex offender must notify authorities of where he or she lives. An offender must immediately notify law enforcement of any change of address.

Salmon moved to Greenbank in January and was classified as a "Level 2" sex offender, meaning law enforcement saw him as a "moderate risk" to re-offend. Salmon was sent to prison for beating and raping a woman in Seattle in 1993.

Salmon later moved from the Lagoon Point neighborhood to his girlfriend's home in Oak Harbor. He lived there and kept a job until he suddenly disappeared June 25, leaving his girlfriend a "Dear John letter," according to court records. The letter indicated he may have gone to live with a friend in Arizona.

"Some people may wonder why we go to all this effort to bring a convicted sex offender back to Island County," Prosecutor Banks said. "The whole point of the sex offender registration law is to keep tabs on those that have been convicted of sex and kidnapping offenses."

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