Police track down predatory offender accused of sexually abusing 4-year-old girl

Police track down predatory offender accused of sexually abusing 4-year-old girl »Play Video
David Reitz (Lane County jail mugshot)

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Police captured a predatory sex offender wanted on new sex abuse charges involving a 4-year-old girl within hours of making a public appeal for help locating the man.

Springfield Police located David Edward Reitz, 66, at a home off Lorane Highway around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Earlier in the day, police had made a public appeal for help locating the man after Reitz apparently packed up his belongings and vanished from his Springfield home after learning of new accusations of sex abuse against him.

The investigation started July 7 with a report of possible sex abuse, Sgt. Rich Charboneau said.

The following day, the child was interviewed by Kids First, which does forensic interviews with children regarding sex crimes or other types of abuse, he said.

"During that interview the child disclosed that there had been some type of abuse, and that Mr. Reitz was involved in it," Charboneau said. "The detective who was assigned to the case immediately went out and found out that Mr. Reitz had just moved out of where he was living."

Police had been looking for him this week. On July 10, they issued a press release asking for the public's help.

"Information was received from a concerned citizen that gave us a location west of town here," Charboneau said. "The detectives and some officers, with the assistance of the Eugene Police Cepartment, went out, located him, and took him into custody."

Charboneau did not know whether anyone would face any charges for helping the fugitive hide.

"He was hiding at the time the officers found him, I don't know if the people were actually hiding him or if he just said he needed a place to stay," he said.

Retiz was designated a predatory sex offender upon his release from prison but was no longer on the state's sex offender registry after his parole period ended in 2012.