Sex Offenders Could Be Anywhere But They Congregate in Trailer Parks

22

Aliahna LemmonThere are about 24 occupied homes in the ramshackle Indiana trailer park where Tarah Souders relocated with her three little girls. Her father was dying of emphysema and she moved into his home to care for him in his last days. But she was nervous about the new neighborhood.

Rightfully so. Inside that small community, 15 registered sex offenders are residents. Fifteen sexual deviants within the space of two dozen houses was a tragedy waiting to happen.

And it did. Aliahna Lemmon, Souders’ 9-year-old daughter, was attacked by a neighbor, Michael Plumadore, who hit the child in the head with a brick three days before Christmas, dismembered her body, and hid her head, hands, and feet in her grandfather’s freezer.

Hindsight is crystal clear, but moving into an area literally brimming with men who have a history of preying on kids is dangerous. Apparently, trailer parks are hideouts and incubators for sex offenders. 

Although that animal—and anyone who can execute such a gruesome and cold-blooded offense against a child is an animal—isn’t a sex offender himself, he was in criminal company. According to an article in USA Today, sex offenders congregate in trailer parks because they’re refuges for people who are generally outlaws, either because they’re on the lam, running from outstanding charges or unable to function normally in society because of previous convictions.  

Ninety-nine percent of residential housing is off-limits to registered sex offenders. You know folks will run them out of their communities in a heartbeat as soon as they get wind that they’re moving in. That limitation forces them into little enclaves where they gather together, usually with other criminals, to scratch out an existence. Poverty only exacerbates the conditions.  

But I think any mom considering a move anywhere in any neighborhood would be smart to check out the sex offender registry before committing her family to a new home. It doesn’t matter if you have daughters or sons. There’s a sicko out there for every gender, so there’s no breathing easier for one than the other, as far as I’m concerned. 

I’m certainly not blaming Souders for not being proactive enough. Heck, her own father was one of the 15 offenders in that trailer park. But for every tragedy, there’s a lesson, even if it’s a hard learned one. And in this case, I think the message is to go with your gut feeling, since she was originally leery of the safety of her kids, and to research more than the property taxes and school quality when you’re planning a move, even in an emergency.

I never checked the sex registry until after I got settled in my apartment, but best believe I’ll do it before I transition to a house. Did check where you live before you moved?


Image via T.M. Photography/Flickr

safety, in the news

22 Comments

To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

purpl... purpleducky

Gotta love when the writers of the Stir make generalizations based upon little to no facts.

Akgirl85 Akgirl85

Yes, because she is sooooo off base on this one! Whatever. And though this guy wasn't a registered sex offender, he did harrass and stalk a teenage girl, but no charges came from it. Not a single registered offender lives in our area, but I know not everyone can swing that. But I'd think a trailer park is usually very last resort.

Kritika Kritika

I didn't realize what a good and safe neighborhood I lived in till I did the cencus questionaire and was able to say "no" to basically every question.

nonmember avatar notsofast

don't get overly confident moms-sex offenders can be anyone. the ”registered” offenders are just the ones who have been caught and convicted.

ashja ashja

@purple ducky -  You think she's wrong? Have you looked at the registry in your area??? Trailer parks and low-rent apartments ARE where they are most plentiful. Sorry if you live in a trailer and that hurts your feelings, but it is the case, and if you have children, even if you don't, you need to know!

nonmember avatar blh

I don't live in a trailer park but I live near one and there are some sex offenders around me. It makes me nervous but I can't afford to move. I hate that it has to be like this but I probably won't let my son play outside.

Eques... EquestrianMom

I think this depends on the area you live in as well. We live in a very rural area, with multiple trailer parks, but they are filled with snowbirds and people who use them as a second home while working here but live in a bigger city farther away. They rent the trailers to save on the commutes! Our sex offenders here are scattered all over on local ranches, farms, and live in the local homes that are rented out. I'd be more comfortable in our trailer parks then in a lot of the rental homes here! 


 Also, as a side note, sex offenders who haven't been charged yet are all over! The sex offender who got ahold of me when I was 12 is still not on the registry, as he's managed to squeeze out of all charges filed by me and multiple other girls. Thanks lawyers! 

nonmember avatar Shana Rowan

"According to an article in USA Today, sex offenders congregate in trailer parks because they’re refuges for people who are generally outlaws, either because they’re on the lam, running from outstanding charges or unable to function normally in society because of previous convictions." Um, no. They live in these areas because our legislation forces them to. You even contradict yourself in another paragraph! Residency restrictions, child safety zones, and other feel-good measures (which have all been proven to be ineffective and possibly increase the chances of re-offense)have forced offenders into areas far which are often impoverished and separated from most of the community. You are right about one thing - this type of environment isn't conducive to someone who is trying to rebuild their life. But we have no one to blame but ourselves for allowing legislators to pass laws that sound great, but do little - and don't ever consider the consequences.

93-95% of child sexual abuse victims are abused by someone they know, who has never been convicted of a sex crime and therefore not on any registry. You need to be vigilant as a parent, know where your kids are and who they're with. You don't get a registry of any other type of criminal, so how are you going to protect yourself from them? Being aware.

nonmember avatar pomkinf

Wow this really shows how IGNORANT people are. I do NOT understand at all what a sex offender has to do with this little girls death. Maybe I read your article along with all the news coverage, but I could of swore the man who COMMITTED the crime was NOT a registered sex offender! You people who do your so called research of this devient monster need to learn the basic facts of the registry. This registry you think protects does NOTHING for your safety! It puts you in hysteria about a situation you dont have any idea about. The news make it seem that only people who done horrible crimes to little kids go on the registry. Maybe you should research what are the statistics of teenagers on there for having sex w their bf/gf 2 years younger then them? Or maybe since your so sure every person on the registry will commit another crime, you should see that sex offenders are one of the least likely to recommitt! You should not worry about those on the registry...you need to worry about your neighbor,your pastor, your doctor, the teacher, the lady up the street,those who have NOT been caught!

Zamaria Zamaria

I grew up in a trailer park. It was great! There were several families with kids my age, and lots of sweet elderly people who spoiled us rotten. All trailer parks aren't bad. I can't figure out why the mother was having this guy keep her kids. I watch my own kids even when I'm sick. That just seems odd to me.

1-10 of 22 comments 123 Last