Police capture suspected child molester after months of hiding

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DALLAS, Ga. —

Police say suspected child molester, Richard Meadows, faked his death to avoid trial. Now they believe he was hiding in plain sight.

Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh went to Dallas, Ga where she spoke to the woman who was living with Meadows.

"I went out there and the whole yard was full of cops and it just blowed my mind,” said homeowner Kay Strickland.

Strickland says she had no idea what was unfolding Tuesday afternoon when Paulding County deputies surrounded her home on Macland Springs Drive.

"I went out there and the whole yard was full of cops and it just blew my mind,” she told Kavanaugh.

Investigators were looking for Meadows for months.

The Paulding County Sheriff's Department could not provide an exact timeline, but they tell Channel 2 Action News that Meadows was set to stand trial for a 2012 child molestation case. 

Officials say Meadows was out of jail on bond when he cut his ankle monitor and took off, allegedly leaving behind a suicide note.

“This stuff happened long time before I ever met him,” Strickland said.

Strickland says she met Meadows when she hired him to work on her home. She says they began a relationship and he moved in. She says they even started an antique business which they ran out of her home.

“It shook me so bad,” Strickland said. “I didn't have no clue what was going on."

Until, Strickland said, Meadows was arrested on her back porch.

Channel 2 requested an interview with the county sheriff, but he declined.