HAMILTON — More than 20 years ago in New Mexico, suspected serial killer David Parker Ray - dubbed the "Toy Box Killer" - was convicted for his crimes, which included torture and kidnapping.
While those crimes happened decades ago and states away, the issue has landed in Montana as Ray's accomplice Cynthia Lea Hendy now lives in the Bitterroot.
MTN News has received numerous messages asking about Hendy, a convicted accomplice of Ray's.
Ray was convicted of kidnaping, rape, and torture in New Mexico in 2000. He is also suspected of killing dozens of his victims, but was never convicted of murder. He died in 2002 in prison.
Hendy pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping and criminal sexual penetration. She now lives in Hamilton after serving 18 years in New Mexico for her involvement.
KRQE in New Mexico reported upon her release: "For a lot of people, Cindy Hendy wasn’t just an accomplice. Some believe she was just as cruel as her boyfriend, taking pleasure in torturing women in the infamous ‘Toy Box.’"
Now some Hamilton community members are expressing frustration and worry on social media about having Hendy live close to a school.
In Montana, offenders are required to register as sexual or violent offenders, or both. When registering, there are several tiers in which they fall into based on what their sentencing judge assigns them.
Think of it as a scale: Offenders at the bottom of the scale do not have limits on where they can live. But offenders at the top of the scale must follow certain laws with these restrictions.
If the crime does not occur in Montana, and the convicted offender later moves to the state, Montana law can adopt the level assigned by the sentencing judge.
In this case, Hendy is at the bottom of the scale. Therefore, there is no law prohibiting where she can live.
Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton confirmed to MTN News that Hendy is registered and has been in compliance since her move to Montana.
Click here to visit the Montana Sexual/Violent Offenders website. People can use the registry by searching a county, city, or ZIP code, or by searching for a specific person's name. Users can also specify whether they are searching for violent offender, a sexual offender, or both. The site cautions that anyone who uses information on the site to commit a criminal act or harass an offender may be subject to criminal prosecution.
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