Marion County officials seek whereabouts of sex offender after violating release terms, deputies say

Deputies say the suspect stole a phone and walked off his job.

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — The Marion County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's assistance in locating a sex offender who disappeared from his job and stole a phone, according to deputies.

According to online documents, Derrick Beard was arrested in Escambia County on lewd and lascivious charges for allegedly molesting a child under the age of 16. He was released in February after spending years in prison.

"He lost his cool and walked away with some property that did not belong to him and he has also not complied with his mandatory sex offender registration, which is not something we take lightly in Marion County," said Cecelia Koon of the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

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Since Beard is a convicted sex offender, officials said he was given a schedule letting him know when he was to check in with the Sheriff's Office. Deputies said Beard had been following the rules since his release, but said he took off out of nowhere for some reason.

Channel 9 went to Beard's last known address, but found other residents who claim he hadn't been there for a while.

"He's been gone for about a month and a half," one resident said. "He was only here for three days."