Dru Sjodin, a 22-year old University of North Dakota student and member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, went missing the evening of November 22, 2003 after leaving one of the two jobs she held. A subsequent police investigation lead detectives to Alfonso Rodriguz, Jr., a registered sex offender who had been released from prison only six months prior to Dru’s disappearance. He had just completed a 23-year sentence for stabbing a woman and attempted kidnapping. Rodriguez had also previously plead guilty to rape.
On August 30, 2006, Rodriguez was tried and found guilty and sentenced to death for Dru’s abduction, rape and murder.
In July 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. This act included Dru’s Law, which, among other things, changed the name of the National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR) to the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), a national database of the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders throughout the United States and its territories. Included in the database are names, photos, registered locations of residence, offender “level” (e.g., “sex offender”, “sexually violent predator”, etc.), physical descriptions, and offense and conviction information. Some registries also include an “alert” which notes whether or not an offender is in compliance with the registration laws.
Every parent, school, day-care, club, organization or any individual that works with children really should utilize this powerful website. The wonderful thing about this easy-to-use online registry is that there are several ways in which the database can be searched:
- By name nationally or with an individual jurisdiction
- By address (if provided by jurisdiction)
- By zip code
- By county (if provided by jurisdiction)
- By city/town (if provided by jurisdiction)
You can also search individual state or territory databases. Just click on the state of your choice and a link will appear in a box on the right-hand side of the page… just one more click and you’ll arrive at the registry. Also noted will be any Indian tribes in a given state that may have their own registries. I live in Indiana where we have a very simple, robust system that allows for searches by county. It’s a fantastic system to use!
This is also a superb tool for employers to supplement limited criminal histories as part of their background checks of new employees.
Please share this with others! It’s too important a tool for people not to be aware of and use to help keep children safe from known sexual predators.
Working to improve the world one child at a time, Ginger has made it her life mission to raise awareness of the world-wide epidemic of child abuse. An impassioned child advocate, trainer, speaker and child forensic interviewer, Ginger can be contacted via her website “Ginger Kadlec: 4UrKids™” at www.gingerkadlec.com.