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Zumwalt groomed victims and their families for years

SPOKANE, Wash. - The search for more victims continues, after a registered sex offender is arrested for molesting two girls.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office says Dean “DJ” Zumwalt victimized at least two girls in Spokane County, as well as two victims they haven't yet found. Their names might be Bree and Shaylin.

 Detectives say Zumwalt has ties to Pend Oreille County, Lincoln County, Sprague and Edwall. They also have concerns that there might be victims in neighboring counties. Prosecutors said in court Thursday as Zumwalt made his first court appearance, that they are building a big case against him. Bail was set at $350,000.

Court documents show Zumwalt groomed his victims and their families for years. The mother of one girl was a friend of his for 10 years. The grandparents of the other girl, lived nearby.

A search warrant revealed that Zumwalt would have one girl pose as his niece and invite the other girl to sleep over at his house. The Sheriff's Office says it adds up to a pattern.

“Very seldom are these types of acts, whether they are abduction or sexual abuse, random. Most of the time they are calculated. They groom, they prey, and what they do is find out ways for people to get their guard down,” explained Deputy Mark Gregory.

Deputy Gregory says when it comes to protecting your kids, be involved and present in their lives.

RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization that stands for Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network adds that it is also important for parents to choose caregivers carefully and to know the warning signs of sexual abuse which include trouble in school and changes in hygiene.
 


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