Suspect may have been headed for Ky.
Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 10:36 p.m.
OCALA - Federal kidnapping defendant and convicted sex offender Frederick Fretz Jr. might have been headed to Kentucky when authorities caught up with him and 11-year-old Adam Kirkirt in Georgia last week.
Adam told investigators after being rescued Friday that Fretz, who had been living with the boy and his father in Ocala, had discussed going to Kentucky with him about a week before picking him up from Dunnellon Elementary School on Jan. 18, according to a federal court document.
Fretz and Adam disappeared from Marion County that day, triggering a statewide, and later regional, Amber Alert. Police found Adam safe in Emerson, Ga., on Friday, and arrested Fretz on Sunday in the same area.
"Fretz had discussed with (Adam) the possibility of visiting Kentucky with him and discussed several places they could visit," FBI Special Agent Pamela Piersanti wrote in a criminal complaint. The affidavit was filed Saturday in Ocala and made public on Monday.
A Kentucky driver's license record indicates Fretz, 42, once lived in Cave City, Ky., a town of about 2,000 residents in the southwestern part of the state.
"Fretz also encouraged (Adam) to keep the discussion about Kentucky a secret. As a result, (Adam) did not reveal to any adult the details of this conversation," Piersanti wrote.
That kind of statement should serve as a warning to children, said Barry Schlenker, a social psychologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
"It does tend to be something that sexual offenders frequently request. It's definitely a red flag," Schlenker said. "Whenever someone tells them this is something that they shouldn't talk about widely, they should talk to their parents."
Fretz was convicted in Shamokin, Pa., in 1991 of indecent assault and corruption of minors. The victim in that case, according to Piersanti's complaint, was a 10-year-old child.
When Fretz picked up Adam, he told the boy his father had been arrested, Piersanti wrote. Fretz allegedly told Adam he was taking him to Kentucky "because he didn't want him to have to return to his mother's home," Piersanti added.
In fact, Ivert Kirkirt, 41, had not been arrested and was waiting at home for his son. When Adam asked to call his mother, 39-year-old Dorraine Kirkirt, Fretz reportedly denied that request, telling the boy he himself would contact the father later.
Child abductors frequently use lies, Schlenker said.
"Oh yeah, that is fairly common," he said, "the lying about 'Your mother or father is in trouble and you need to come with me.' "
Fretz is in custody in Georgia on a federal kidnapping charge. He also faces state charges of probation violation and failure to register as a convicted sex offender in Florida.
He waived extradition in Georgia on Monday and is expected to be returned to Florida soon.
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