Andrew Vanderwal- Colorado- 2017 (CAPTURED!) Jun 13, 2017 0:36:42 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on Jun 13, 2017 0:36:42 GMT -5
(Above photo credit: Fort Collins Police Department Facebook page)
From the Coloradoan website (thecoloradoan.com):
A Fort Collins man accused of sexually assaulting a child likely fled to Mexico to evade criminal charges, police say.
Andrew Vanderwal, 27, faces five counts of sexual assault of a child. He stopped showing up to his court dates in January, and four months later Fort Collins Police Services hasn't been able to track him down.
It's unusual but not unheard of for a Fort Collins criminal suspect to flee the country, Sgt. Kristy Volesky said.
Vanderwal, a former volunteer with the NoCo Ice Center's youth hockey program, confessed to police that he sexually assaulted a boy younger than age 15 in the Fort Collins home where they lived together.
Other potential victims have come forward to police since Vanderwal's November arrest, and he could face additional charges if he's apprehended, Volesky said.
Police believe Vanderwal fled to Mexico after the Criminal Impact Unit discovered a report that his vehicle had been abandoned on a bridge in El Paso, Texas, near the Mexico border. Officers found that report about a month and a half ago and contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI agents contacted Mexican authorities, Volesky said.
If Vanderwal is in Mexico, it's now up to Mexican law enforcement to arrest him and transfer him back to the United States if they so choose, Volesky said.
"It's a little bit disappointing because his bond was set incredibly low (considering) his charges," Volesky said.
Vanderwal posted his $7,500 bond on Nov. 2, the day after he was arrested.
The arrest was connected to a series of events Oct. 27, when Vanderwal's adult roommate came home from work to find Vanderwal getting up from the couch where he'd been lying with the roommate's son, according to Vanderwal's arrest affidavit. Vanderwal eventually confessed to Fort Collins police that he touched the boy's genitals five times, according to the affidavit.
Volesky recalled several cases where Fort Collins suspects facing "significant" charges fled the country.
Set for trial on charges of child sex assault, Wheat Ridge attorney William J. Hunsaker Jr. fled to Costa Rica in 2004, only to be captured and brought back to Colorado about six months later. A jury found him guilty of the charges, and today he continues to serve a 16-year-to-life sentence at the Fremont Correctional Facility.
In 1998, then-22-year-old Tibis Kneipp fled to Guatemala after raping, beating and fatally stabbing a Fort Collins woman. He was arrested nine months after the murder when his employer at a Livingston, Guatemala, pizza shop grew suspicious of him and found his photograph on either the FBI website or the "America's Most Wanted" website. He died in prison in 2007.
Another man, James Bachmann, is believed to have fled the country in 2004, sometime before he was set for trial on charges of sexual assault of a child, sexual exploitation of a child and possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance. A warrant remains out for his arrest.
If authorities find Vanderwal, he'll likely face additional charges for failing to adhere to the conditions of his bond.
Vanderwal volunteered with NoCo Ice Center's hockey program for players ages 8 and younger, but the center cut ties with him after learning of his arrest, said Sarah Nelson, director of rink operations.
Additional relevant links:
Thoughts? I actually wanted to post this as a breaking news case sooner because of the seriousness of the charges but was unsure if the police were appealing to the general public for help since the article above didn't mention it. (I generally only like to post cases no matter how terrible if the articles state that police specifically ask for help from the public). I finally found a Facebook post from the Fort Collins Police Department specifically asking for help so that allowed me to finally post this case. I will list what you can do if you have information on Vanderwal's whereabouts in the admin notes (same as the above wanted poster but just in case I want to make sure it's mentioned again). Although we're only an AMW/Hunt fan site, this is sort of like history repeating itself with a media covered Fort Collins fugitive probably fleeing to Mexico.
Admin Note #1: According to the Fort Collins Police Department's Most Wanted Facebook post, anyone with information on Andrew Vanderwal's whereabouts should call the Fort Collins Police Services Criminal Impact Unit at 970-480-7250 or e-mail them at [email protected] fcgov.com
Admin Note #2: If you have any (news-related) updates on this case, please contact us here: amwfans.com/thread/1662/website-contact-form