Monday, April 21, 2008

Douglas Simmons Kidnapped and killed a 6 year old girl

A group of Wethersfield residents is calling for changes to the state's sex offender registry after learning that a neighbor was convicted of kidnapping and killing a 6-year-old girl.

The residents said that only the kidnapping conviction appears on the sex offender registry, and not the murder conviction.

According to the state's sex offender registry, Douglas Simmons lives on Lancaster Drive and was convicted of kidnapping.

State residents won't learn from the registry that
Simmons was also convicted of strangling the girl to death........
or that he admitted to sexually assaulting her.

Wethersfield resident David Long said that he knew Simmons briefly, but didn't know that he was a convicted murderer.

"They're letting him roam the streets free without letting anybody know he's actually committed a murder, which is the most heinous crime, especially on a 6-year-old girl," said Long.

Lt. Paul Vance of the state police said that only certain convictions require people to register as a sex offender.

"Specifically the charge of kidnapping mandates you register as a sex offender," Vance said. "Mandated by law, the other charge may not be applicable."

After his conviction, Simmons served 22 years in prison and was released on probation in 2003. He lived in New Hampshire, and was recently arrested in Hartford for allegedly not registering his new address with the sex offender registry.

Wethersfield's police chief told Eyewitness News that Simmons had moved out of his apartment, but that his red truck with New Hampshire plates was still parked outside.

No one answered the door at the apartment listed as his home.

State police told Eyewitness News that the department is in the process of upgrading the system to provide more information.

In the meantime, the department recommended that residents use the registry as a starting point. If more information is needed a complete criminal history of a convicted sex offender can be obtained from the state police.

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