KISSIMMEE, Fla. - A man accused of sexually abusing children is on the run after deputies in Osceola County say he cut off his GPS tracking device, and the sheriff's office said it wasn't notified about the potential problem for hours.
Investigators say just before 2 a.m. Monday, 70-year-old Loomes Wheeler removed the tracking device and left his home on Granada Boulevard in Kissimmee. The sheriff's office says it wasn't until around 9 a.m. that the GPS monitoring company alerted them that the device had been tampered with. Deputies say they found the device thrown in the woods near Wheeler's home.
"The family had contacted the monitoring company, and they had helped locate monitor, still on property at the end of the driveway in a wooded area," said Twis Lizasuain of OCSO.
Wheeler, who also owns the Horse World Riding Stables, was arrested in April on charges of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl over 100 times. Another woman came forward after the arrest saying Wheeler also abused her several years ago when she was around 6 years old.
Deputies are now investigating why it took so long for them to be notified about the incident.
"We do know his offenses are serious,capital sex battery, victims under the age of 12," Lizasuain said.
Wheeler was arrested in April and was able to be at his home under conditions of his pretrial release, which required him to wear an ankle monitor. He's accused of sexually abusing two relatives, who investigators say he has not contacted so far.
Wheeler is described as a white male, 6 feet tall and 170 pounds with gray hair and green eyes. Anyone with information on Wheeler's whereabouts is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.
Deputies met with GPS monitoring company Court Resources Inc. on Tuesday, but the company would not comment to Local 6.
"We can't make any statements until all the facts are known. That's all we can say," said attorney Joe Mitchell.
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