Sex offender unit added to search for missing Oklahoma girl

Oklahoman Modified: February 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm •  Published: February 4, 2010

GERONIMO (AP) — The U.S. Marshal's Service has added its Sex Offender Investigation Unit to the search for a missing 7-year-old girl and her stepfather.

Authorities have been searching for 7-year-old Aja Johnson and Lester Hobbs since Jan. 24 when Tonya Hobbs, 37, Lester Hobbs' estranged wife and the mother of the girl, was found beaten to death in a camper near Geronimo in southern Comanche County.

Law enforcement officers conducted a house-by-house search Wednesday for the missing girl and planned to check every home in the area, said Marc Crawford of the Sex Offender Investigation Unit.

An Amber Alert has been in effect since Jan. 24 for Johnson after her mother was found dead. Hobbs, 46, was charged Jan. 26 in Comanche County District Court with first-degree murder and kidnapping.

Crawford said that the Sex Offender Unit became involved in the investigation after investigators received information that Hobbs could be sexually abusing the child.

The Marshal's Service moved its newest command center trailer to Geronimo Sunday night. Crawford said the $1.3 million mobile command post, housed in Oklahoma City, serves the service for the western portion of the United States including Alaska and can be flown anywhere it is needed.

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