Wanted sex offender visits brother in Augusta

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January 5, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---An Augusta man admits to opening his home to his brother--a wanted sex offender.

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is still looking for 46-year-old Bill Laws, last seen in Augusta's Harrisburg area.

Laws was convicted of aggravated child molestation and has been missing for two weeks.

In a News 12 exclusive, Kate Tillotson spoke with Law's brother, who says he just saw him yesterday.

"Only thing I know is he came by and said the law was looking for him and that was it," Bobby Laws said. "Said something about he had the money to go to his, uh, sex offender...some of that stuff. Said he was going to stay in Waynesboro with some girl he knew."

Laws has been spotted throughout Augusta, but somehow has still managed to elude police.

"Anybody like that sick in the head, they need to be off the street," said Augustan Johnny Bartlett. "They need to catch him."

Bartlett swears that on several occasions, he's seen wanted sex offender bill laws at Savin' Haven.

"I never spoke to him. He just kind of kept to himself. Didn't say nothing to nobody."

For two weeks, Inv. Ron Sylvester has been on the hunt for Laws, since learning Laws moved without telling him. That's a violation of his release.

"They know the law. They're informed of the laws. They sign paperwork that notifies them of what the laws are," Inv. Sylvester said.

His last known address was on Gordon Highway. He worked part-time at Carpet "Wholesellers" and lived nearby.

Managers say they haven't seen him in months...but we found someone who has.

Bobby Laws last saw his brother Bill two days ago at his home on Nellie Drive.

"Does he know he's wanted?" we asked Bobby.

"Nuh-uh, not that I know of," Bobby laughed.

Sylvester doesn't buy it.

Laws was added to Richmond County's registry two years ago, and up until now has been cooperative.

He was convicted of child molestation in Baldwin County, Georgia.

News 12: "What kind of a guy is your brother? Is he dangerous?"

Bobby Laws: "No, he's not. He wouldn't hurt a flea."

But he's a risk...and on top of that, he's at large.

Sylvester says he's following some solid leads.

"We've been able to trace him to several places," he said. "It's just a matter of time before we do pick him up."

Bill Laws is not the only registered sex offender gone missing in Richmond County. Investigators are still looking for these five men:

Wanted Sex Offenders
Robert Black - May '06
Bruce Bird - November '06
Gerald Ishman - November '06
Larry Moore Jr. - October '06
James Terry - May '06

If you know where they might be, call the sheriff's office...because you are often the eyes and ears for police.