Nowhere to go for Fresno County sexually violent predator

Corin Hoggard Image
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
EMBED <>More Videos

Squaw Valley is no longer a possible destination for the first sexually violent predator released to Fresno County.

SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Squaw Valley is no longer a possible destination for the first sexually violent predator released to Fresno County.

"We are so relieved," said Squaw Valley resident Annelle Wilterding.

Snyder has nowhere to go now that his proposed Squaw Valley home burned down.

The people at Liberty Healthcare who will supervise him say they've checked 1250 spots and they've had no luck, which leaves them with very few options. One of those options will cost taxpayers a huge amount of money, and make Snyder essentially invisible to the public.

Fire destroyed Jeffrey Snyder's second chance at freedom in Fresno County.

Judge Gary Hoff ruled almost a year ago the sexually violent predator - a sex offender with a diagnosed mental disorder -- has earned the right to leave the Coalinga State Hospital on a strict conditional release. But the Squaw Valley trailer where he had a deal to live burned down two days after Action News reported about it.

Fire investigators tell us they couldn't rule out arson, but they probably won't make any arrests. Snyder's attorney called it a slap in the face of the legal system.

"I think it's very important we're not being intimidated by whoever -- this mob lynch mentality, what the person did," said Curtis Sok.

Squaw Valley residents sent about 1100 letters, emails and signatures on petitions opposing Snyder's placement there, and several of them came to court Tuesday to make sure he won't be released to another nearby home.

"We are thankful (he won't be) -- not just for us, but for Mr. Snyder who obviously wasn't wanted up there," said Mrs. Wilterding.

But the decision leaves the court and the people who will supervise Snyder with few choices.

"The only suggestion the court can give to Liberty at this point is maybe to consider some state properties, such as the grounds of the hospital or a conservation camp," said Judge Hoff.

At least one sexually violent predator has been released to a trailer on the grounds of a state prison. But public records requests by Action News showed it's more common to release them as transients -- hopping from motel to motel, maybe even in Squaw Valley.

It would cost taxpayers about an extra $500,000 a year, and his address will never show up on public tracking sites like Megan's Law.

"Put him in that mobile," said Squaw Valley resident Dave Wilterding. "He can walk to his therapy. He can walk to his treatments."

A final decision could come in May.