Homeless sex offender charged with failure to register, loitering within 500 feet of a park

Officers say Michael Campbell is refusing to register as a sex offender

Emily Rittman, Ben Knaup

Reporter, Photographer

7:21 PM EDT, June 20, 2012


SPRINGFIELD, Mo - Many neighbors are frustrated a registered sex offender was living under the radar in their neighborhood. Officers found Michael E. Campbell near the intersection of West Bypass and Grand. According to court documents the area is the last known address for Campbell.

Around 6:00 in the morning, Tammie Tennessee would see Campbell in her neighborhood. “He was always walking a dog. It was real early,” Tennessee said. “I figured that's why he was walking so early because he didn't want too many people to see him. He is kind of scary looking. I don't want to make assumptions about him but I have a 13 year old. I told her if she sees him to go the other way because I had seen his record.”

Campbell’s record includes a conviction of first degree attempted sexual assault against a 14-year-old girl in Colorado. The conviction requires him to register as a sex offender. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s sex offender list he is homeless in the Nixa area. “I also don't know if I quite believe it because I've seen him at least for a month straight walking a dog in this one particular area,” Tennessee said. “He was staying somewhere around here.” Court documents show Campbell was in the area. A mother called authorities when her four-year-old saw Campbell having sex at Overhill Park. “My daughter plays up at this park all the time,” Tennessee said.

“It's really scary, pretty freaky to me. I got kids and grandkids,” neighbor Daniel Walker said. “I don't like it at all.” Walker also believes he saw Campbell in the area at a convenience store. He says Campbell has a face that is hard to forget. “I don't think anybody else would either. Not with all those tattoos. I've got some myself but nothing like that.”

Authorities say the recognizable man is refusing to follow the regulations of his sex offender registration. Campbell also has a criminal record out of California for burglary, grand theft, escape from jail and a prisoner manufacturing a weapon. On top of those charges he is facing a minimum of 10 years in prison for two prior convictions of failing to register as a sex offender in Colorado.