Kellam investigated in Tifton - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Kellam investigated in Tifton

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - When Kenneth Kellam moved into a homeless shelter in South Georgia, they ran a criminal background check. It didn't reveal his record since those cases were from Florida.

We now know that while living at the shelter, Kellam was investigated for approaching a young boy in a Tifton neighborhood in the same manner two Albany boys claim he approached them.

We know that Kenneth Kellam's Method of operation is consistent. When he was convicted in 2003, it was for approaching two young boys and telling them he wanted them to take a look at some pictures.

That's the same thing he told two young boys here, and the same message he had for a 12-year-old in Tifton several months ago.

Brother Charlie's Rescue Center in Tifton works to help people who are down on their luck, but to get a bed in this shelter, residents must go through a background check.  Pastor Mark Stone said, "It's not easy to get in because we have an obligation not only to help people, but to protect the community."

When Kenneth Kellam showed up here in May of last year, the background check didn't reveal his Florida convictions for false imprisonment or impersonating a police officer.

Stone said, "Had absolutely no Georgia criminal background history. He was not listed as a sex offender. I wished he had of been because he would not have been allowed to stay here at all."

But Kellam was allowed in. That's how he had ties established to buy this van, from someone else who had bought it from the shelter. Dougherty School police confiscated it yesterday and will be searching through for evidence. But Kellam has been investigated in South Georgia before.

Jim Anderson said, "This happened right here in front of the house I'm living in with my boy the same age as the boy he approached."

In May, Kellam was accused of trying to lure a 12 year old boy away. But the boy was wise that something was wrong. He went home and told his parents, who contacted the Sheriff's Office.

Anderson said, "Everyone did the right thing, but it's sad that that has to be the right thing, that we have to raise them to be so proactive for such a horrible situation like that."

Law enforcement officials didn't press charges against Kellam, but they alerted Brother Charlie's Shelter and he was banned from here and then moved on to Albany.

The father of the boy approached in Tifton by Kellam in May met with prosecutors in Albany Tuesday. They are fully cooperating with law enforcement here.

And it appears that Kellam was allowed to slip through the cracks of Florida Law Enforcement. He was released from prison in January of 2008, but didn't register as a sex offender until last month, after Tifton authorities contacted Florida law enforcement.

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