Woods County man charged with sex offender felonies

Tyler Wade Holcom 

CHEROKEE — A 38-year-old Woods County man was charged in Alfalfa County with two felonies this week after authorities said he failed to register as a sex offender and was living near a school.

Tyler Wade Holcom, of Alva, was charged Tuesday with felony counts of sex offender living within 2,000 feet of a school and failure to register as a sex offender, according to court documents filed in Alfalfa County District Court. The first felony is punishable by a fine up to $3,000 and/or one to three years in prison, and the second is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.

About noon Jan. 13, Cherokee Police Department Police Chief Ryan McNeil was contacted by Woods County Sheriff's Office Undersheriff Keith Dale about an unregistered sex offender living in a home in Cherokee, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the case. Dale said the suspect, Holcom, was living in the home with a woman and her minor children.

Dale had been investigating Holcom for being in violation of the sex offender registration statutes after noticing the man was not staying at his registered apartment address in Alva consistently, according to the affidavit. The apartment complex's owner told Dale that Holcom's vehicle had only been seen parked at the complex once since Jan. 3.

Jan. 13, Dale told McNeil he saw Holcom's vehicle parked at the apartments in Alva and spoke to him. Holcom admitted to Dale to not staying at the apartment, and that he'd been staying at the home in Cherokee but was trying to stay at the apartment in Alva more, according to the affidavit. Dale searched the address Holcom gave and discovered it was a little under 700 feet from Cherokee High School and about 1,960 feet away from the Cherokee Elementary School.

Dale proceeded to forward the case to McNeil since the violations were in Cherokee. McNeil had been previously trying to contact the woman at the Cherokee home for an unrelated investigation and had seen Holcom's vehicle parked there before and ran the license plate to discover who owned it, according to the affidavit. McNeil found Holcom had been convicted of soliciting sexual conduct through communication with minor by use of technology in 2015 and failure to register as a sex offender in 2018.

McNeil also discovered the home Holcom was staying at in Cherokee was 555 feet away from Good Shepard Day Care in addition to the public schools, according to the affidavit.

Online court records show a warrant for Holcom's arrest was issued Tuesday.

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I was born near Denver, later moved to Selah, Washington and then attended the University of Kansas, graduating in May 2017. Prior to Enid News, I interned with the Yakima-Herald Republic and wrote arts and features for the University Daily Kansan.