MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - LeeAnn Wilmoth is home safe with her family after she was found early Friday morning with registered sex offender, Eric Ruska. Authorities’ searched for them for four full days.
Although a happy ending, there are still ongoing questions about this investigation and how the past of a registered sex offender isn’t more known.
LeeAnn Wilmoth and Eric Ruska were coworkers.
Wilmoth just moved to the Upper Peninsula whereas Ruska was from the local area and currently on the state’s sex offender registry, due to his 11 year prison sentence for sexual assault and kidnapping. However his criminal past wasn’t required to be shared in the work place.
“As far as employers go they are not obligated to disclose to a potential employees if they have a registered sex offender working there," said Sgt. Matt LeBonte, "Basically that burden would fall on the new employee that starts to work there.”
Wilmoth and Ruska were both reported missing on Monday after they didn’t return to work following Sunday’s apparent fishing trip to Chicago Lake in Delta County.
Concerns grew when family became aware of Ruska’s kidnapping background.
Both were missing for almost five days, found Friday at 4:25 am at Superior Shell gas station in Munising. Officials said this was more than a missing person’s investigation.
“The facts as we have them right now, she was definitely being held against her will,” said MSP 8th District 1st Lt. Robert Pernaski.
After a teleconference with Alger, Schoolcraft, Delta and federal government authorities’ yesterday afternoon, no official charges have been filed again Ruska at this time.
Authorities are still sorting through details.
Ruska has not been arraigned in court. That could come Monday morning.
Officials said the case might fall within federal jurisdictions because he allegedly held Wilmoth against her will on federal forest land. Plus there were a number of agencies involved.
Once LeeAnn was safe with authorities she was immediately taken to UP Health Systems Marquette where she was treated and later released to family.
“There are no words to express how extremely grateful we are for your tireless efforts to locate our sister," said Gerald Shneider.
Law enforcement agencies searched were the air and underwater, plus K-9 units were deployed in the search. However authorities said a surveillance photo of Ruska’s black 2006 Chevrolet pickup truck lead them to move away from a water search towards land.
“We received a number of tips helpful tips from the community we did conduct a number of interviews and conducted a very throughout investigation during the week which gave us information which pushed in the area that he was ultimately found,” said Pernaski.