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Violent sex offender flees from halfway house

Monday, October 08, 2012

The search is on for a convicted sex predator who apparently walked away from a northeast Houston halfway house Friday. Thomas Lee Elkins has a long history of sexual assault, kidnapping and more.

Investigators say Elkins is a violent sex offender and so far they've had no luck tracking him down. There's concern Elkins may try changing his appearance to throw people off.

Elkins has gray hair and a Fu Manchu mustache. State troopers say he's a violent sex offender who's been on the run from a halfway house in northeast Houston for three days now.

Neighbor America Villarreal said, "I'm here. I home school. I stay here all day. I need to be careful and lock the doors and everything."

Villarreal has four children. She and her neighbors are on edge hearing of Elkin's escape from Southeast Texas Transitional Center on Beaumont Highway, about a half mile from their homes.

State records show the parolee was placed here in September. Investigators say the 58-year old man was wearing an electronic monitor until he ran off.

Eyewitness News has learned Elkins has been convicted of kidnapping and aggravated battery. He just completed serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated sexual assault and sexual battery. His other arrests include indecent liberties with a child, forcible rape, aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping.

"My little girls go out a lot. They are out running around," Villarreal said. "I usually tell them do not go to the street. Just stay in the yard or back here, and I'm always watching them."

Investigators say Elkins is 6'3", weighs about 200 pounds and walks with a limp. He's known to shave his head.

Investigators also say Elkins is a former truck driver who may blend in at any truck stop and possibly try talking someone into giving him a ride.

Elkins is now facing felony charges of failure to comply with civil commitment requirements.

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