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Lisk-Silva suspect admitted to uncontrollable sexual urges toward young girls after a 1987 crime, and told police he drove around looking for them.
Date published: 7/2/2002
Richard Marc Evonitz, now a prime suspect in the Lisk-Silva slayings, told Florida police 15 years ago that he experienced uncontrollable sexual urges toward young girls.
That revelation came in February 1987, when Evonitz admitted exposing himself to a 15-year-old girl in Orange Park, Fla., near Jacksonville.
"Suspect stated he has a problem with masturbating in front of girls," the Clay County Sheriff's report stated. "When he feels the urge, he drives around looking for a girl 18-19 years old, short in height and [with] brunett[e] hair."
Evonitz pleaded no contest to a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior in the presence of a child and served three years probation. He also was ordered to undergo sexual counseling.
But Evonitz did not have to register as a sex offender in Florida. That requirement did not take effect until Oct. 1, 1993.
Police now believe the Florida incident was an early step in the development of a serial killer whose urges eventually grew to include rape and murder.
Evonitz, 38, killed himself Thursday in Sarasota, Fla., as police were attempting to arrest him in the abduction and rape of a 15-year-old South Carolina girl.
Spotsylvania law-enforcement officials hope to tie him to the 1996 slaying of 16-year-old Sofia Silva and the 1997 deaths of 15-year-old Kristin Lisk and her 12-year-old sister, Kati. All were brunettes.
James Metts, sheriff in Lexington County, S.C., where last week's abduction occurred, said the kind of counseling Evonitz received after the Florida arrest rarely works.
"You do not convert this type of personality," said Metts, a former criminal profiler. "These people cannot be rehabilitated. They are acting out fantasies they can't control."
In the Florida case, a 15-year-old girl reported that she was walking in her neighborhood with her 3-year-old sister when a man pulled up beside her in a beige Dodge. She told police she had seen this man driving around the block several times earlier in the day.
This time, the man stared at her while he masturbated, she reported. According to police reports, the girl ran off crying as the car squealed away. Several other youngsters on bicycles noted the license tag.