PALESTINE — The Anderson County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in finding a 70-year-old Elkhart man wanted on an indecency with a child – sexual contact warrant for a case involving a 13-year-old boy.
According to Sheriff Greg Taylor, ACSO Deputy Ted Herman Linam took a report on May 5 at an Elkhart apartment complex in reference to indecency with a child.
“A 13-year-old male reported that he had escaped a residence on FM 294, where he was hired by the suspect, John Alton Curtis, to do some odd jobs at his home,” Taylor reported. “While he was there, the boy reported that he was thrown down on a bed by the man, who groped him and attempted to kiss him.”
The boy escaped and fled the residence and then made an outcry to the ACSO.
“We obtained a warrant and served it on the residence,” Taylor said. “The suspect was not home at the time, but we were able to gather some evidence at the scene.”
The sheriff said that deputies searched for Curtis for a lengthly amount of time, suspecting that he might have fled in to the woods near his home. Officers also remained at the scene to await the suspect's possible return, but he did not.
“He probably knows that we are looking for him,” Taylor said, urging anyone who might know of his whereabouts to contact the ACSO at 903-729-6068 or Crime Stoppers at 903-729-8477. Bryan Chason is the lead investigator on the case.
“It appears he has a pattern of hiring young men to help him at his residence,” the sheriff added. “Sadly, we think that there may be more victims and we hope this will give them the courage to come forward.
“We consider Curtis to be very dangerous, especially to children.”
Curtis has no criminal history, the sheriff said, explaining that it was not uncommon in a case like this.