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Sex offender on the run for 21 years arrested in Florida

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Officials have arrested a 53-year-old sex offender from California who had been living under a false identity for 21 years in Florida.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office announced that it received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Tuesday about a sex offender who was possibly living in Spring Hill.

Investigators discovered that David Swenson, was an “absconded sex offender” from California. He had active warrants there for failing to register as a sex offender in 2000.

Detectives also learned that Swenson was living with his wife under the name Kevin Crowley, the sheriff’s statement said. They used various databases to discover that he had recently used the name Kevin Crowley to obtain a fishing license. The two vehicles, a camper, and a boat at his home in Spring Hill were all registered to Crowley’s wife, the statement said.

Sheriff’s deputies had a previous encounter with the man, when they were called to the home in 2009, and found him hiding in the attic. He provided them with his false name, Crowley, and was issued a notice to appear in court, but the case was dropped due to a pre-trial diversion. Swenson never obtained a valid ID under his own name or the name of Kevin Crowley. He also never registered as a sex offender in Florida.

Officials found Swenson walking on a bike trail near a park. He was taken into custody after confirming his identity as David Swenson.

Swenson told investigators he wanted to “end his time on the run.” He told them he had been in Spring Hill for 21 years, after leaving Northern California.

California’s sex offender registry shows Swenson was convicted of forcible rape in Santa Clara County in 1989 and was released from prison in 1993.

He’s now charged in Florida with failure to register as a sex offender and is being held without bond. Court records did not indicate whether he has an attorney.