LOS ANGELES (AP) — A paroled rapist in Southern California has gone missing after cutting off his ankle monitor, and authorities said Wednesday he has been harassing the family of his 80-year-old victim with dozens of threatening and obscene phone calls.
Police have asked for the public's help as they search for Dennis Michael McKenzie, 58, who disappeared from a Long Beach halfway house after getting rid of his GPS tracking device.
McKenzie's parole agent received a tamper alert on Oct. 1, said Luis Patino, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. The parole agent immediately requested a warrant and a team is working to apprehend him, Patino said.
Over the past month McKenzie has made more than 50 phone calls from the Long Beach area to the victim's family home in the San Bernardino Mountains, said San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller. She said the victim's family discovered the threats, which were "graphic, very harassing" on a voicemail machine last week and alerted sheriff's officials. The calls have amplified the push to find McKenzie.
"This individual has been convicted of a rape. He's a mandatory registrant now out of compliance," Miller said. "He's cut his GPS tracking device off, so there's a concern for public safety, and we urge anyone who might see him to call their law enforcement agency and report it."
McKenzie was convicted of raping the woman and sentenced to seven years in prison in 2006, according to corrections' records. He had been found mentally incompetent and committed in 2004, according to court documents.
McKenzie was paroled in 2010, and released to a state hospital, Patino said. McKenzie remained under the supervision of doctors at the facility until March, Patino said.
Long Beach police Sgt. Aaron Eaton said McKenzie had been living in a halfway house since November 2011.
The California Department of State Hospitals cannot confirm whether someone has been a patient because of privacy laws, but the agency has a conditional release program that allows for outpatient treatment for mentally disordered sex offenders.
McKenzie was arrested in August and September for parole violations, Eaton said. Details on those violations weren't immediately available, Patino said. Miller said he'd been jailed for five days for one of the violations.
Authorities don't believe McKenzie has relatives in Southern California, but he does have a history of frequenting the Lake Arrowhead area, Banning, Los Angeles and Palm Springs.
According to the state sex offenders' database, McKenzie's likelihood to reoffend was determined to be a low-moderate risk in December 2009 prior to his release.