With no specific address, police can't find sex offender

With no specific address, police can't find sex offender »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. – A sex offender with a violent past is living on the streets of Portland. Now police can't find him, and they believe he registers as "homeless" in order to hide.

His name is Floyd Henry Deford. He's 48 years old and there's a warrant out for his arrest for a parole violation on a burglary charge. He served time for rape.

He's registered at 17th Avenue and Southeast Powell Boulevard. Because he's homeless, Deford is just supposed to sleep somewhere in that area.

Police admit it's much harder to track homeless sex offenders than those with a specific address.

At least two people who work in the area said they've seen Deford around, but they didn’t know his past. And now they worry no one can find him.

"Homeless sex offenders are required to register just like anyone else," said Rachel Strobel, who is on the Portland Police Bureau's Sex Offender Registration Detail.

Police say the difference lies in the address. For the homeless, they're allowed to spend the majority of their time within a larger area.

"Within a seven to 10 block radius of that location. That's where they have to lay their head at night," said Strobel.

For Deford that's anywhere within a 10-block radius of 17th and Powell.

In Oregon the laws are the same for all sex offenders, homeless or not. They must check in with police once a year or when they move.

Compare that to a stricter law in Washington. Law enforcement checks in with sex offenders at least four times a year, and homeless sex offenders must check in with their counties every week.

Portland police say most homeless sex offenders are where they say they'll be. But some, like Deford, use the more lenient Oregon law to their advantage.

"(He) has a history of being out of compliance. So he's definitely one of those that wants to hide," said Strobel.

Police say Deford is six feet tall and weighs about 175 pounds. He has red hair and blue eyes.

If you see him, call 911 but do not approach him.