CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Sheriff's Office is taking responsibility for allowing an accused child molester to live on the run for 16 years in Florida.
The suspect, 50 year old Travis Kilgo was accused of molesting a five year old girl.
A warrant was issued for Kilgo's arrest in 1998, but the sheriff's office failed to enter the warrant in the National Crime Information Computer or NCIC.
Deputies learned the warrant wasn't valid during an in depth warrant audit at the sheriff's office.
If the warrant was in the national database, law enforcement all over the country would have known Kilgo was wanted.
"There's no defense for this, we just made a mistake," said Charleston County Assistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office arrested Kilgo in Florida.
That's when Charleston County deputies learned the accused molester was able to get custody of his grandchildren because the warrant wasn't in the database.
Kilgo had also applied, and been approved, to be a foster parent.
Lucas says Kilgo confessed to Charleston County deputies that he molested the girl after his arrest in Florida.
"We are confident as we can be that there are no more victims," Lucas said.
Lucas says the audit discovered 25 other serious offense warrants that were never entered into NCIC, including one for a murder in 1983.
That's why the sheriff's office formed a response team to re-enter those warrants properly.
"These seven folks are literally correcting mistakes that were found," Lucas said. "So we're expecting to quickly locate not only the suspects, but also the victims and witnesses."
The sheriff's office is confident that the mistake made with Travis Kilgo's case won't happen again.