Cary Jay Smith, the pedophile who was released from a state mental hospital on Tuesday after two decades and moved into an adult residential facility in Orange, has relocated out of the county to neighboring Corona in Riverside County, police officials said Saturday, July 18.
Orange police had announced in a Facebook post that Smith had left the county but did not say where he went. Saturday morning, Corona police said in a Twitter message that Smith had moved there, at least for the time being.
He is believed to be staying at a motel, Corona Sgt. Chad Fountain said in an interview. He said he didn’t know how long Smith planned to stay.
“We will be keeping eyes on him,” Fountain said. He warned against attempting to contact or harass Smith.
Corona did not have to sign off on Smith’s relocation there.
“He’s a free man. He’s going to live where he wants,” said Orange Sgt. Phil McMullin, who added that Smith “relocated on his own.”
Corona’s Twitter message noted: “Mr. Smith is not on any form of supervised release or required to register as a sex offender. Smith can move around without restrictions.”
That’s part of the controversy surrounding the release of Smith, 59, who has been in custody since 1999 when his wife at the time provided authorities with a letter Smith wrote about his urge to kidnap and molest a 7-year-old boy in his Costa Mesa neighborhood. Smith, for reasons that remain unclear, is not required to register as a sex offender, which would have restricted him from living near parks, schools and other places where children gather.
*** Community Alert ***
Cary Jay Smith is currently in the City of Corona. Please read the press release from Orange PD below for more details. Corona PD Officers are watching Smith while he is in Corona to ensure the safety of the community. https://t.co/yhfeg2S8yQ
— Corona Police Dept. #CoronaPD (@CoronaPD) July 18, 2020
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer had urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to block Smith’s release.
Orange police had made no secret of their desire for Smith to move out of the city. McMullin said that based on Smith’s past, they considered him a danger to the community.
In a Facebook post on Friday, police wrote that when the Orange County Health Care Agency recommended that Smith be placed at the facility in the area of Tustin Street and Chapman Avenue, officers warned the facility about potential dangers that Smith posed. Nevertheless, Smith was accepted there, prompting police to watch Smith’s movements.
Police added in the post: “The Orange Police Department is committed to public safety and we will do everything we can to have Cary Smith relocated.”
Then late Friday, the post was updated.
“Cary Smith is no longer living at the facility in Orange. He will be residing in another county. The local authorities have been notified,” the post said.
Source: Orange County Register