Family Tracks Down Sex Offender on the Internet
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
OSHKOSH, Wis.- It's every parents worst nightmare, someone trying to kidnap your children. Now one family is sharing their story after their children helped police catch the man who approached the three kids, offering them a ride and cookies, with the help of a sex offender registry website.
Timothy Sullivan, a registered sex offender, is facing 6 charges with fines up to $250,000 and more than 80 years in prison. Now he's back behind bars thanks to an 8-year-old girl and her parents.
Joshua Tankersley and his daughter Montana sit outside, but now their guard is up.
According to the criminal complaint, 51-year-old Timothy Sullivan tried to coax Montana and her younger brother and sister into his car.
"I thought he was just going to grab us because he was like right next to us," said 8-year-old Montana Tankersley.
The complaint says, "The man pulled up and stated over and over, get in my car, we're going to grandma's house, we're going to make cookies." Montana's mom heard this and came outside, that's when Sullivan drove off.
"It was right in the front yard, it's like ten feet away from the front stairs we have windows all around," said Joshua Tankersley.
After that scary moment, they called police and then searched for the man themselves on familywatchdog.com.
"I knew it was him right away when I saw it because he had a long face and the computer looked just like him," said Montana.
As a result of their own investigation, Sullivan is facing attempted kidnapping and child abduction charges.
"It's our kids, we can't let somebody else do our job for us," said Joshua.
The Tankersley's will now pay extra close attention to the cars coming down their street, to keep their neighborhood safe.