BUFFALO, NY - New York State's Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) has confirmed that an electronic monitoring bracelet, which had been worn by Cara Dickey as a condition of her parole, has been located.
But Dickey, a former teacher sent to prison for raping a student, remained at large as of early Friday evening...more than two days after a warrant was issued for her arrest for alleged parole violations.
The bracelet was located in a snow bank on Capen Boulevard, a few doors down from Main Street and not far from the University at Buffalo's South Campus. The location is approximately four miles north of Dickey's last known address.
Dickey was living in the upper apartment at home at 1789 Bailey Avenue in Buffalo's Lovejoy neighborhood. A downstairs neighbor told 2 On Your Side on Friday she hadn't seen her for a few days.
Dickey was placed in the apartment through the assistance of Back to Basics Ministries, which among other things, provides re-entry services to parolees according to President and CEO Pastor James Giles.
"Cara came to us as a parolee," Giles told WGRZ-TV.
"In meeting her, we discussed some of the things that lead her to prison and she actually revealed her story to me because I also do counseling here," Giles said.
Dickey pleaded guilty in March of 2009 to charges of second-degree rape, admitting she had a sex with a 14-year-old South Buffalo Charter School student, where she had been a teacher.
She was paroled last February after serving three years of a four-year sentence, and is registered as a sex offender.
"She was kind of troubled by the fact that she couldn't see her children and stuff, but she was learning how deal with that," said Giles, who also said that Dickey had found employment doing secretarial work for a candy distribution firm.
But Giles also noted that after she began earning a steady paycheck, she was becoming more independent, which while the desired goal, can sometimes lead to problems for parolees who have yet to fully transition back into society.
"Having that job improved her esteem, but it also kind of lead her to not coming to the program...so we didn't see her as often."
With the distance between Dickey and her counselors growing, Giles says they began to notice other changes.
"She was just starting to make some bad decisions regarding curfew and stuff, so we pulled her in and said listen, this is what you gotta do.. you're starting to stray, what's going on?...but something happened. I'm not sure if it was a family problem, but she became a little more distant," Giles said.
"We have what we think are very skilled professionals working within our operation and we're confident she will be brought back into our custody," said DOCS Spokesman Peter Cutler, who declined to say if there was any known connection between Dickey and the location where her monitoring bracelet was found.
Asked what kind of advice he would give Dickey should she reach out to him now, Giles said he would advise Dickey to surrender. "I'd tell her bring it in, because you know your life ends once you get on the run," he said.
Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 on Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Bob Mancuso. Follow Dave on Twitter: @Dave McKinley2