BEND, Ore. - (Updating: Correcting age; removing inaccurate criminal history information)
A 24-year-old Bend man accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl ran from police at a northeast Bend apartment on Wednesday and was found by a K-9 team hiding under a deck at a nearby residence, officers said.
Police began an investigation on Tuesday involving Roger Clint Lee Vanwormer, over allegations he sent sexually suggestive messages to the Bend teen, Lt. Clint Burleigh said. An investigation found he had sent sexually explicit messages on a social media platform to the girl.
Police contacted Vanwormer around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Deschutes County Parole and Probation Office, Burleigh said.
They learned he had "information pertinent to the investigation" at an apartment on Linnea Drive where he may have been staying, Burleigh said, and investigators took him there.
After arriving at the apartment, during the initial stages of the investigation, Vanwormer ran from officers, Burleigh said. Several Bend officers quickly responded to search for him, with the help of county parole and probation officers.
Vanwormer was quickly located by Officer Victor Umnitz and his K-9 partner Rony, hiding under a deck at a nearby residence, Burleigh said.
He was taken into custody and brought to the Deschutes County Jail, where he remained held without bail Friday on charges of luring a minor for sexual conduct, third-degree escape, interfering with a police officer and a felony probation violation warrant.
“The Bend Police Department would like to encourage parents to monitor their children's social media accounts and have conversations regarding dangers that are inherent with youth using social media,” Burleigh wrote in a news release.
“The juvenile in this case was open with her parents and started the conversation early after receiving the disturbing information,” he added.
Vanwormer was arraigned on Thursday on the initial charges and is due back in court next Thursday after a grand jury’s expected formal indictment.