Detectives arrest man wanted for child sex offenses in NC who’d been living in Shelton for years

SHELTON, Wash. — Detectives arrested a fugitive wanted for numerous sex offenses against children in North Carolina, who had been living in Shelton under a false name for more than five years.

Ronald Lee Burns, who was arrested by Mason County Sheriff’s Office detectives on Friday, had been living under the name of Paul Davis.

Detectives were investigating 65-year-old Davis of Shelton for an alleged sex offense against a child in Mason County.

Though he had a valid Washington driver’s license, during the investigation, detectives questioned the suspect’s identity. They determined he had been living in Mason County for the last few years but could not find any information about his past.

After he was arrested for the local child sex offense allegations, detectives questioned the man about his identity.

Detectives said there were inconsistencies in his statements, but the man insisted that he was Paul Davis. Eventually, detectives found that he had been using the identity of an infant who died in Pennsylvania in 1957.

With the FBI’s help, the man’s fingerprints were checked against a national database and his real identity — Robert Burns — was determined.

Investigators said Burns told them he had researched the child’s death online and assumed the identity in 2016 when he fled North Carolina to avoid being prosecuted for alleged sex offenses against multiple children.

In addition to the new sex offense allegations in Mason County, Burns was arrested for investigation of identity theft and for his North Carolina arrest warrant.

Search warrants were served where Burns lived and worked in Mason County. Police said they found documents used in the identity theft.