Violent rapist is on the loose in Tacoma area after cutting off GPS tracker

UPDATE: Convicted rapist Ronald Clayton has been taken into custody in Enumclaw.

A dangerous convicted rapist, just released from prison, is on the loose in the Tacoma area after cutting off his GPS tracker, authorities say.

Ronald Clayton, 41, was released from prison on Saturday and told authorities he planned to stay at the Tacoma Rescue Mission. That’s where the state department of corrections left him.

Sometime between then and Monday, Clayton cut off the GPS ankle bracelet that reported his location. Since then, he hasn’t been located, according to Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer.

Clayton is a Level III sex offender. If he’s spotted, the public should call 911, Troyer said.

“Do not approach him,” Troyer said. “Let us do our jobs.”

As of Wednesday night, Clayton remains a fugitive.

“A felony warrant has been issued for his arrest,” Troyer said.

Clayton is described as a white male, 40 years old, 6 feet tall, 225 pounds, with shaved blond hair and blue eyes.

The Sheriff’s Department said he has ties to Pierce and Kitsap Counties and might be frequenting shelters for homeless people and possibly transient encampments.

In 1995, Clayton forced his way into a stranger’s home at gunpoint. He then tied up and raped his female victim, authorities said. Clayton also strangled her with a cord before the victim was able to escape.

Clayton was convicted of assault and rape in that case. He also has two felony convictions for failing to register as a level III sex offender in 2014 and 2016, according to authorities.

Craig Sailor has worked for The News Tribune for 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer. He previously worked at The Olympian and at other newspapers in Nevada and California.