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Two wanted deadbeat parents found

September 07, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Washington County Sheriff's deputies have found at least two of the noncustodial parents who appeared Aug. 26 in The Herald-Mail as part of a story about most wanted deadbeat parents.

The two noncustodial parents deputies found are being held in prisons out of state, Sgt. Paul Boyer said Thursday.

Susan Rae Hess, who owes more than $13,000, and Anthony Hodges, who owes more than $3,500, are both in prison, Boyer said.

Deputies received information that another noncustodial parent featured in the story, Joseph E. Weiss, has moved to Alabama, Boyer said.

Seven other parents - both men and women - have not been found.

Deputies are following leads, the details of which Boyer did not want to divulge, he said Thursday afternoon.

The sheriff's department received fewer than 10 phone calls from people with information about the noncustodial parents, but the information seemed credible, Boyer said.

Tipsters who call in generally wish to remain anonymous, but are usually family members of the noncustodial parents, he said.

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Some of the noncustodial parents featured in the story are probably still in the area.

"We just haven't been able to catch up to them," Boyer said.

Other parents who are not in compliance with their court-ordered child support have called the sheriff's department and plan to turn themselves in rather than risk seeing their photographs on the front page of the newspaper, he said.

A few parents who need to collect child support from the noncustodial parents in the story called to complain, Boyer said. The parents said it was an embarrassment to the children to see their parent on the front page, he said.

The Washington County Department of Social Services wants to "begin a dialogue" with the noncustodial parents, said Barbara Moyer, assistant director of child support program in Washington County.

"We can determine what their needs might be and see if we could help," she said.

The department can help noncustodial parents find jobs and get them back on track, she said.

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