A 68-year-old Cass County man facing sexual abuse charges was arrested at a Houston airport Saturday while trying to board a plane for Nicaragua, according to authorities.
Richard D. Purkey had been sought by law enforcement Friday after he allegedly cut off a court-ordered ankle monitor and failed to appear in a Bates County court in Butler, where he had been charged earlier this year with multiple sex offenses.
Bates County prosecutors charged Purkey in February with seven counts of statutory sodomy, eight counts of endangering a child and one count of statutory rape of a person less than 14 years old.
All the crimes were alleged to have occurred in 2011, according to court documents.
Purkey also was charged Wednesday with failing to register as a sex offender. Missouri sex offender records list him as living in Butler, but he most recently was living in the Cass County town of Archie. In 1996, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Harrisonville.
When Purkey failed to appear in court Friday, the Bates County sheriff’s office sought help from other local law enforcement as well as state and federal authorities.
Bates County investigators tracked Purkey to Kansas City International Airport, where they learned he had flown to Houston.
In Houston, U.S. customs officials detained Purkey at the airport as he tried to board a flight to Nicaragua.
On Saturday, Purkey was held at the Harris County, Texas, jail while he awaited extradition to Missouri to face charges.