2008-01-19 / News

Cortez: Still on the run, but not forgotten

By Charles Prince

BUCKEYE LAKE - Former Buckeye Lake Council member John Cortez has now been on the run for six weeks. Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp called Cortez a "fugitive from justice" at a Dec. 4 news conference.

Cortez was indicted Nov. 29 on a total of 24 felony counts, including 23 counts of unlawful sexual conduct with three minors and one count of corrupting three minors with durgs, specificallycocoaie, in addition to one previous count of unlawfully possessing weapons.

Cortez, who left central Ohio in early December, is out of sight, but hasn't been forgotten, Thorp told The Beacon Tuesday.

His officeis spending a tremendous amount of man hours trying to findhim. "I speak to the detectives on a daily basis and his name comes up nearly every day," Thorp added. "We're working with people in several different areas of the country."

Thorp says detectives continue to get leads which are checked out. Any information on his whereabouts can be left anonymously at office'sTip Line at (740) 670-5539.

"I know it is an important issue," Thorp said. He gets asked about Cotez whenever he's in the Buckeye Lake area. "We haven't forgotten about it,"

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