HAMILTON — Over 20 years ago, a suspected serial killer in New Mexico was convicted for his crimes, which included torture and kidnapping.
While those crimes were states away, the issue has landed in Western Montana as the suspected killer's accomplice now lives in the Bitterroot.
MTN News has received numerous messages asking about Cynthia Hendy, a convicted accomplice to David Parker Ray, known as the “Toy Box Killer."
Ray was convicted of kidnaping, rape and torture in New Mexico in 2000. He is also suspected to have killed dozens of his victims. He died in 2002 in prison.
Hendy now lives in Hamilton after serving 18 years in New Mexico for her involvement. Hamilton community members expressed frustration and worry on social media about having Hendy live close to a local school.
In Montana, offenders can register as sexual or violent offenders, or both. When registering, there are multiple 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 must follow certain laws with these restrictions.
If the crime does not occur in Montana, but the convicted offender 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.
Holton says there are other sexual and violent offenders who live in Western Montana. Click here to find out more information about violent sex offenders in your neighborhood.