MELROSE PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Michael Myers is a convicted sex offender with mug shots from 2019, 2016, and 2009 posted on the Illinois sex offender website.
The problem is that each mug shot shows a different person. Which one is the real Michael Myers?
CBS 2’s Megan Hickey is always investigating, and upon doing some digging, she uncovered failures in the system. But some changes have also been made since she started asking questions.
Registered sex offenders are required to take a photo every year, but CBS 2 found that many of those photos aren’t making it to the online sex offender registry.
Or worse, as in the case with Myers, photos of the wrong people are posted to the registry.
Vanessa Villa Lobos checked the Illinois Sex Offender Registry when she moved into her Leyden Township apartment a few months ago. The site said there was a registered sex offender living across the hall named Mike Myers.
This man is presented as Myers on the sex offender website. But Villa Lobos said it’s not he.
This other man is also presented as Myers on the website. Villa Lobos said this is not he either.
Neighbor Samantha Delaney, who lives next door, did not recognize the man in the second photo either.
“This is just wrong,” she said.
CBS 2 found Myers’ wife, who asked that we not show her face on camera. She identified this man as the real Myers.
As to the other people, Myers’ wife said, “I don’t know who those people are.”
Registered sex offender Nick Delaney also takes issue with his photo in the database. He said he has been reporting to the Cook County Sheriff’s office every year to register, but, “My photo ain’t updated either.”
Delaney’s photo hasn’t been updated for six years.
“I could go up there, do my job, but people expect us to do our job, and they don’t complete the job,” he said. “We can get locked up if we mess up.”
State law requires that photos are updated annually.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Department said they been taking the photos every year and mailing the digital files to Illinois State Police.
“The Sheriff’s Office takes sex offender registration extremely seriously. Every year officers conduct as many as four random compliance checks on each individual on the registry in unincorporated Cook County and Ford Heights. We also require those individuals to come in every Halloween to update their information,” the Sheriff’s office said in a statement. “The office sends this information, including updated photos, ever year to the Illinois State Police for inclusion in the statewide database.”
Illinois State Police contradict that, saying they haven’t gotten all of the updated photos.
“You are correct, it is required that at the time of registration, a photo be taken of the registrants and that photo then be forwarded to Illinois State Police (ISP). It is the agency’s responsibility where the offender registers to submit the pictures to the ISP,” State Police said in a statement. “Cook County Sheriff’s Office takes pictures of their offenders at a minimum of once per year. ISP is currently working with Cook County S/O’s on receiving the updated photographs of their registrants.”
As to Mike Myers, State Police said they have determined through the Sheriff’s office which pictures were correct, and have removed the incorrect photos from the sex offender registry.
But there is still no explanation for how they got there. And more concerning, there is still no indication of who the other two men who were misrepresented as Mike Myers are.
This problem is not unique to Cook County. CBS 2 uncovered outdated photos in cities across Illinois – and even instances where no photo has been uploaded.
CBS 2 will keep pushing to get to the bottom of it.