Durham County

U.S. Marshals searching for missing registered sex offender

Ernest Eugene Reigh
Ernest Eugene Reigh The Herald Sun

U.S. Marshals are looking for a Florida registered sex predator who vanished, having been released from state prison March 1 and failing to register his address with the St. Lucie County jail.

A $2,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the capture of Ernest Eugene Reigh who was last seen in Fort Pierce, Florida. It's believed Reigh, might be traveling through North Carolina on his way to visit relatives in Pennsylvania.

He’s bald, has blue eyes, stands about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds and is to be considered a wanted absconded sexual predator with a history of carrying firearms.

Reigh's criminal record includes the sexual assault of a girl under 12 years old—she was a Southport Middle School student at the time—in St. Lucie County in 1995.

Reigh worked as an assistant at the St. Lucie County jail in the mid-1990s but was suspended in March 1995 after the middle school student told investigators he had forced her to perform sexual acts for about two years. And In 1996, Reigh was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts and sentenced to state prison.

Only one month later, he admitted to having lied during his trial when he said he was falsely accused. Soon after, he also admitted to selling a machine gun for $500 prior to his arrest. Guilty of perjury, an additional year was added to Reigh's jailtime.

After his release from prison, he was dropped off at the Greyhound bus stop in the 7100 block of Okeechobee Road in Fort Pierce, Florida.

His address was supposed to be in the 100 block of South U.S. 1, but, Reigh failed to report to the Federal Probation Office and to register his address with the St. Lucie County jail.

Since then detectives have been unable to locate him.

He’s on the run.

The U.S. Marshals’ reward is for information leading directly to Reigh’s arrest. Additional reward money from other sources may also be available. Anyone with information concerning Reigh’s location is urged to contact Deputy U.S. Marshal Christopher Crotty at 305-710-7395 or Task Force Officer John Brady at 954-707-2457.

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks