Matthew Caulk, sex offender, on the loose thanks to passive GPS system he's beaten before
Fool me twice, shame on me? This saying resonates in the latest news about Matthew Caulk, a notorious sex offender who's been the subject of multiple nationwide searches.
Matthew Caulk. Photos and videos below.
Last year, Caulk vanished after taking advantage of a passive GPS system -- a device we'll explain below. He was subsequently recaptured and jailed, then released -- and fitted with the same gadget he'd foiled before. Predictably, he's on the loose again, and he has been for months. Continue for the crazy details, complete with photos and videos.
As we've reported, Caulk made headlines nationwide in 2007, when he was involved in a "consensual" relationship with a sixteen-year-old Lakewood girl.
The name of the young woman in question -- Amber Westbrook -- earned lots of publicity at the time because she was considered a runaway rather than a victim of a crime. Indeed, Lakewood Police spokesman Steve Davis told ABC News during a period when Caulk was the focus of reports on numerous national news outlets, not to mention America's Most Wanted, that law enforcers had "absolutely no indication of any criminal behavior.... We don't have a crime here."
Amber Westbrook in 2007.
So why was so much energy expended to find Caulk both here and across the country? As 7News reported at the time, Caulk had been convicted of sexual misconduct with a child in Pierce County, Washington, back in 2002. That bust required him to register as a sex offender, but doing so apparently slipped his mind. Five years later, two warrants for failing to register were active in his name -- one in Yellowstone County, Montana, and the other in Lakewood, where, according to the now-offline AMW website, Caulk and Westbrook met at a community pool. Shortly thereafter, the site goes on, "they started a relationship."
And then they vanished. Amber's stepmother dropped her off at CEC Middle College of Denver on September 25, 2007, but she didn't return home. She and Caulk were spotted in Morrison the next day, but then, they were gone.
A previous mug shot of Caulk.
Fortunately, they didn't go far. During the first week of October, they were found at a home in Morrison, at City View and Turkey Creek Road. Amber was reunited with her family, and Caulk was taken into custody, to begin another trek through the criminal justice system. The U.S. Marshals Service says he was sentenced in May 2010 to 45 months of federal prison for failing to register as a sex offender.
After being freed, Caulk was ordered by a U.S. District judge to serve an additional eight years on supervised release, with his first assignment being a Denver halfway house.
Instead, Caulk split, prompting a February 2013 alert from the Marshals Service. Days later, he was recaptured at a residence on the 3800 block of South Ventura Street in Aurora. But debate erupted afterward when it was learned Caulk had been wearing a "passive" ankle monitor that only sends data when it's docked in a GPS unit, as opposed to real-time locating. In contrast, Denver uses the latter type of GPS monitoring for most clients considered high risk, including sex offenders.
The 3800 block of South Ventura Street in Aurora, where Matthew Caulk was recaptured.
Why wasn't Caulk, a demonstrated flight threat with a dangerous history, fitted with a similar device?
Continue for more about the latest escape of sex offender Matthew Caulk, including additional photos and videos.