Arizona Sex Offender Fakes His Own Death to Avoid Registering

A man in Arizona has been arrested after investigators found that he faked his death to avoid registering as a sex offender.

Benjamin Hollins, 50, had adopted an assumed name in Mesa when investigators found him living with a family — with young children — who had no idea he’d been convicted of sex offenses in California and Arizona, KNXV reported.

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said that Hollins was convicted as a sex offender in California more than two decades ago and moved to Arizona City in 2018 but failed to register as a sex offender.

Then he took a plea deal after he kidnapped and tried to molest a 16-year-old client when he was working as a behavioral health counselor. The plea deal gave him supervised probation and required him to register as a sex offender annually.

Last October, however, Hollins had a woman file a false report claiming she saw him jump off the bridge at the Theodore Roosevelt Dam to his death. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office launched a massive search for the body but came up empty. Meanwhile, his sex offender registration lapsed.

Police in Chandler, however, continued to investigate the case and ultimately found Hollins in Mesa, where he was taken into custody on Tuesday.

Jail records say he’s been charged with failure to appear, failure to notify authorities of a change of name, probation violations, and failure to register as a sex offender.

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