SAN DIEGO - A startling revelation has surfaced about how a sex offender that sparked a local manhunt ended up in San Diego.
According to a new report from the Sacramento Bee, Christopher Dustrude was one of more than 60 mental patients dumped in the county by a Las Vegas psychiatric hospital.
10News cameras were there in February 2011 when Dustrude was tracked down after a local manhunt for failing to register as a sex offender in three states.
In 2004, Dustrude pleaded guilty in Montana to molesting a 9-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy.
Fast forward to 2011: On probation and wanted for not registering after a move, he ended up at Rawson Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas.
Dustrude is one of some 65 patients bused to San Diego in a five-year span. In total, some 1,500 patients – many of them medicated – were bused to other states by the hospital.
The Sacramento Bee obtained the bus receipts for most of those patients and matched dozens of names to crimes committed in the locations they were bused to.
One man is accused of stabbing his roommate. Another killed an old friend.
Sacramento Bee reporter Phillip Reese is now working to confirm a handful of criminal cases involving patients in San Diego.
"Those cases include sex crimes, drug charges, and they include other crimes associated with homelessness," said Reese.
The roster of those bused to San Diego could not be tracked by the county because the hospital has yet to give out any names.
Local advocates for the mentally ill caution that the biggest concern with the bused patients is them becoming victimized or harming themselves.
For them, as well as others with criminal backgrounds, being stuck in an unfamiliar place without support is a problem.
"They'd feel both anxious and rejected by the hospital staff and … might think, 'Why should I seek out services in new location?'" said Shannon Jaccard, who is with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The hospital has since revamped its policies, greatly reducing the number of patients put on buses.
Nevada's governor announced Monday the creation of a special counsel to improve the mental health system.