Such is the case with the arrest of Brandon Scott Lavergne for the alleged kidnapping and murder of Mickey Shunick, who disappeared after setting off on a bike ride home in Lafayette early on May 19.
Lavergne, who lives on an out-of-the way site near Church Point, was arrested July 5.
Since getting out of prison in 2007 after serving a term for a sex crime more than a decade ago and completing probation in 2010, he has had no run-ins with the law until this month.
Those living near him expressed shock at his arrest and some had even forgotten his sex-offender status.
Louisiana law since 1992 has required that sex offenders register with enforcement agencies their place of residence and their place of work.
The resulting registery is public record and available through a website maintained by State Police and at individual sheriff’s department websites.
The Acadia Parish registry, for instance, notes there are 29 registered sex offenders, including Lavergne, living in the Church Point area. They are among 159 registered as living in Acadia Parish, including 52 in Crowley.
In Eunice, according to the State Police, there are 24 registered sex offenders, most of whom earned that status for crimes against children.
There is only one woman among the two dozen registered offenders in Eunice.
Opelousas has 75 offenders listed as living within its boundaries and Ville Platte has 48.
Detailed information about registered offenders, including their addresses and their crimes, and their photographs, can be found at lsp.orr.
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office reported Monday that it had arrested itinerant offender Joseph V. Thibodeaux, 61, in Palmetto.
Thibodeaux is a Tier 3 offender, meaning he is required to register his whereabouts the rest of his life, for a conviction in a case charging two counts of aggravated oral sexual battery in Eunice in 1990.
Thibodeaux had not registered with any agency since May 19, 2011 and that was in Alexandria. It was further learned that Thibodeaux had been charged three other times for failure to register as a convicted sex offender and has been moving from parish to parish. He had also moved to Mississippi for a short time, according to Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz.