Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jessica Lunsford, Death of a 9-Year-Old

Change of Address

John Evander Couey
John Evander Couey

When a child is reported missing, the police typically check on all the known sex offenders in the area, and detectives from the Citrus County Sheriff's Office did just that in the days following Jessica Lunsford's disappearance. In the course of their investigation, detectives discovered that one known offender, John Evander Couey, 46, was not living at the address where he was registered. A convicted sex offender is required by law to notify local authorities if he intends to change his place of residence.

Dorothy Marie Dixon
Dorothy Marie Dixon

Couey had a long list of convictions of his rap sheet. He had been arrested on many occasions for drug violations and was a habitual user of crack cocaine. According to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, past charges against Couey included "burglary, carrying a concealed weapon, disorderly intoxication, driving under the influence, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, fraud, insufficient funds, and larceny."  His driver's license had been "suspended for 99 years."  In 1991 he had been arrested and charged with "fondling a child under the age of 16."

Matthew Oley Dittrich
Matthew Oley Dittrich

Detectives learned that Couey had moved in with his half-sister, Dorothy Marie Dixon, 47. Dixon's boyfriend, Matthew Oley Dittrich, 31, and her daughter and son-in-law, Madie Catherine Secord, 27, and Gene Allan Secord, 35, also lived at Dixon's residence, a trailer at 6647 Snowbird Court, which is miles from Couey's registered address and within sight of the Lunsford home. Investigators drove to Dixon's trailer, looking for Couey.

 

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