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How frequently should a parolee's photo be taken?
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The photo that authorities circulated when serial rapist Robert Blainey vanished from parole in mid-late October and the one taken when Pennsylvania State Police picked him up, allegedly driving a local murder victim's car, on Monday, appear to be of two very different people.
In the widely-circulated photo, Blainey is bald, clean-shaven and wearing glasses. In the recent photo, he has hair and a beard and bears no resemblance whatsoever to himself in the prior photo.
The discrepancy has many people questioning how often authorities take photos of paroled sex offenders, and if it is often enough.
NYS Division of Parole Spokesperson Carol Weaver says that local police agencies in the communities to which the offenders are paroled take their pictures once a year.
Weaver points out that doing it more frequently wouldn't necessarily provide a more accurate depiction.
"If you're running, chances are you're going to change your appearance," Weaver said. "Shave, grow your hair, buy a wig....we could take a picture today and tomorrow, he shaves his head."
Blainey, a serial rapist who skipped out on his parole, was sought by authorities in late October. On November 3, Davis Motel owner Linda Turner, 68, was found dead on her motel's property and her car missing from the scene.
That car turned up, with Blainey driving it, in Pennsylvania on Monday, November 7.