From Whispers to Roars

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Level 3 sex offender suspected in two disappearances


Level 3 sex offender suspected in two disappearances

CHEHALIS – John Wayne Thomson is a Level 3 sex offender who, police believe, may be involved in the disappearance of two people.

He is already a suspect in a missing-person case involving a developmentally challenged woman in Longview.

Now, evidence has turned up in Lewis County that connects him to a missing Spokane man.

Thomson was convicted of numerous crimes including rape. When Thomson got out of prison a few years ago, he registered as a sex offender here in Lewis County.

Longview detective Sgt. Jim Duscha says Thomson was seen driving 36-year-old Lori Hamm's car several days after she went missing 11 days ago.

Now, Duscha and Hamm's father worry that Thomson may have seriously hurt Hamm.

"We were real optimistic as of last week, but as time goes on it gets harder to wait," said Hamm.

"We're very concerned about Lori's safety. Mr. Thomson is by his past history a very violent man," said Duscha.

And there are serious concerns about what happened to 73-year-old James Ehrgott from Spokane. Ehrgott went missing on July 7 and his car showed up in Lewis County several days later.

Spokane Police came to town to investigate around the same time the prosecutor charged Thomson with possession of stolen property from Spokane.

Police also believe Thomson had possession of Ehrgott's car. That's why sources say authorities believe Thomson is also responsible for his disappearance.

Thomson's criminal history is a serious concern for detectives. State documents show he started raping when he was 16, he dropped out of a sexual psychopath therapy program, was later referred for civil commitment, but the attorney general declined to push for it following a psychological evaluation.

Now there's concern across the state that the man who couldn't be locked away is now more than just a threat to society.

Thomson may have changed his appearance. Police believe he may have shaved his head and have grown a different kind of beard.

He is still on the run and, police say, he is most likely armed and he is considered to be very dangerous.

Anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked to call 911 or police immediately.

For more information on Lori or Thompson click on their Highlighted Names.

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