PINELLAS PARK, FL (WFLA) -
A man police in Troy, NY call "a monster" was questioned by Pinellas Park Police, then let go.
Jesse Sawyer, 25, is wanted for taking sexually explicit pictures of at least three children, some of which are under the age of 5. Troy Police say his crimes are "even a lot sicker than that."
The FBI is working the case with Troy Police. A tip came in to Troy Police Thursday night from Calvary Chapel in Pinellas Park. Someone said they spotted Sawyer in the overflow lot at the church's shelter. Pinellas Park PD quickly responded and questioned Sawyer.
Pinellas Park Sgt. Adam Geissenberger says officers initiated confirmation procedures with the FBI, but they did not get a response.
"The person we spoke to at the FBI could not confirm the warrant and was making telephone calls to an unidentified agent to confirm this. An hour had passed from the time we initiated contact with Sawyer and we had no received warrant confirmation. It was decided that the suspect would be released from the scene due to not receiving a hit confirmation," Geissenberger explained.
The confirmation call from the FBI came "about 5-minutes later." When Pinellas Park Police returned to the church, Sawyer was gone.
Pinellas Park Police deployed K-9 units and began searching the wooded area near the church with their helicopter. When Sawyer was not located they turned the search from an active one to a passive one, according to Geissenberger.
Geissenberger says Sawyer is considered a dangerous suspect. When asked why there's currently no active search for him, he said "because it's not our case."
FBI Special Agent Dave Couvertier says he's currently looking into the matter.
News Channel 8 obtained a copy of an email from Troy Police congratulating Pinellas Park PD on Sawyer's capture. It reads in part:
"We congratulate all the parties involved in this effort and take pride in the final outcome in this case. Media blitzing, social media saturation and police intelligence sharing were all small parts that when put together led to a huge end result. We can all sleep a bit easier tonight due to the hard work and tactical expertise of the Pinellas Park PD. Good truly has triumphed over evil..."
Sawyer is believed to be in the Tampa Bay area. Anyone who spots him, is urged to contact law enforcement immediately.