Search for child sex suspect ends with arrest - FOX 13 News

Search for child sex suspect ends with arrest

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PINELLAS PARK (FOX 13) -

Police in Pinellas Park say they have finally arrested a child sex suspect who slipped through their fingers early this morning.

Jesse Sawyer Jr. is accused of sexually abusing three young children and taking "selfies" during the attacks. He allegedly fled to the Bay Area from Troy, N.Y., where police call him very dangerous.

Police say someone tipped them off to Sawyer's location at the Calvary Chapel. They went to speak to him Thursday night and actually detained him for questioning. However, investigators say authorities took too long to give them a warrant, so they let him go.

After getting confirmation on the warrant, they returned to get Sawyer, and he was gone, police said.

However, police in New York on Friday morning responded to FOX 13, saying they did send a warrant in a reasonable time.

"The warrant was faxed to Pinellas Park within an extremely reasonable period of time," a spokesman said. "It does appear, however, that their decision to release the defendant was premature."

A daylong search ensued for Sawyer. Just after 2 p.m., police in Pinellas Park said the 25-year-old had been arrested but did not offer details.

The Calvary Chapel pastor told FOX 13 that Sawyer turned himself in after speaking with a church counselor.

A troubled background

Troy Police in New York say he used his cell phone to to take selfies of himself sexually abusing three children: a 6-year old and two children under the age of 5. Investigators don't know how long the abuse went on.

But, say the victims knew Sawyer.

And they believe Sawyer grew up in an environment of abuse.

The 25-year-old came to attention of police in January after a woman found some the graphic images on her computer.

Detectives went looking for Sawyer at his parents home in city of Troy but had no luck.

The FBI joined the search and issued an arrest warrant.

New York media say people began posting nasty message on Sawyers Facebook page.

And even Sawyers brother is feeling the heat. He posted a message on his Facebook page defending his brother and saying that he loved him and missed him.

There's no word yet on charges he will face.

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