Feds seek 'extremely violent' child rapist with Wash. state ties

DENVER - U.S. marshals have launched a search for an "extremely violent" sex offender from Snohomish County who cut off his GPS bracelet and disappeared in Denver four days ago, authorities said.

Eric Eugene Hartwell, 51, was arrested and convicted in Washington state for the rape of a 6-year-old child in 1991. He was again convicted of indecent liberties in 1996 while on court-ordered supervision.

He was paroled Dec. 20, 2013, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections. Last Friday, authorities found his electronic tracking bracelet at a halfway house. Hartwell had disappeared.

"We believe him to be extremely violent. We are bringing significant resources to bear and we need the public's help to get Eric Hartwell in custody as quickly as possible," said Charlie Ahmad of the U.S. Marshals Service.

"When it comes to violent predators, public awareness is paramount. We have significant resources dedicated to capturing this violent predator before he strikes again," added Chief Deputy Ken Deal. "Public safety is always our primary concern."

This isn't the first time Hartwell has attempted to escape. Police say he cut off his GPS bracelet in 2009 while he was under supervision in Washington state. U.S. Marshals say Hartwell could be heading to the Puget Sound region, but they have no information confirming that.

Hartwell is described as white, standing 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighing 205 pounds. He has blue eyes, blond or strawberry-blond hair and has a tattoo on his right hand.

Federal authorities are offering a reward for information leading directly to Hartwell's arrest. Anyone with information is urged to call the U.S. Marshals hotline at 1-877-WANTED2 (1-877-926-8332).