CCSO arrests man from 16-year-old crime, acknowledges issues

By Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Travis Kilgo is the face of a new mission for the Charleston County Sheriff's Office. In 1997, Kilgo confessed to sexually assaulting a minor. Afterward, he fled to Florida.

"Somehow the warrant did not get entered in to [the National Crime Information Center], which would've meant if he came in to contact with any law enforcement from that point forward, it would've shown there was a warrant for him in South Carolina," Charleston County Assistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas said.

Until recently, Kilgo's warrant sat on the shelves, officials said.

"There's no defense for this. We just made a mistake," Lucas said.

Since the incident, Kilgo has been allowed to become a foster parent for his grandchildren because he did not register in NCIC. Investigators said they did not believe he molested them or any other children.

"We've done an exhaustive search as we can, to make sure there aren't any more victims," he said.

Charleston County officials said Kilgo is one of around 30 high-risk offenders who were never entered in NCIC. Those high-risk offenders have been charged with crimes including murder, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, voluntary manslaughter, robbery, carjacking, drug offenses, kidnapping, arson and drug charges including trafficking. The crimes date back to the early 1980s, Lucas said.

Because they were never entered in to NCIC, they would've never come up in a search on a traffic stop or a background check.

The Sheriff's Office warrants department used to be overloaded, which accounted for the mistakes, he said.

A special audit team is now going through the county's 29,000 outstanding warrants to flag any warrants like Kilgo's; warrants that never got entered in to NCIC.

"There are going to be more of these arrests. We're confident," he said.

A task force has been pulled from its normal work and assigned to work the most dangerous warrants and execute the appropriate arrests.