Keith Fyten

Keith Lawrence James Fyten

A Bend man who spent the past three years in Europe on the run from child pornography charges is back in Deschutes County to face nearly 100 criminal charges. Keith Fyten, 41, is accused of luring and exploiting 13 local children — and possibly dozens more — over a 10-year period.

Fyten was arrested Nov. 11 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago by U.S. Customs officers as he returned to celebrate the holidays with family in Redmond.

Police seized Fyten’s luggage — a backpack and suitcase — in an attempt to find evidence linking Fyten to a Facebook account for a “David Brown,” which police say Fyten used to communicate with minors dating back to 2009.

Fyten was transported back to Bend, where he used to live and where it’s alleged he systematically targeted girls and coaxed them into sending him nude photos. He was in contact with around 2,400 people on Facebook, nearly all of whom were female, according to a search warrant request filed this week in Deschutes County Circuit Court.

During his investigation, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Detective Kyle Kalmbach noted several “constants” in Fyten’s communications with girls and young women. One was that early on in the correspondence, he either asked the girl’s age or she voluntarily offered it. And often, the majority of the conversation was sexual in nature, Kalmbach wrote.

“Fyten commonly informed the females that he is basically a wealthy teenage boy who has inherited wealth and a large house from his grandparents,” Kalmbach wrote.

Fyten was arraigned on a secret indictment Wednesday in Deschutes County Circuit Court. He is lodged at the Deschutes County jail.

The alleged victims in Fyten’s 17-page indictment all lived in Deschutes County at the time of the alleged crimes.

District Attorney John Hummel said he’s been in contact with authorities in other jurisdictions that intend to charge Fyten for similar crimes.

“It presents a good opportunity for parents to re-engage with their kids on this issue,” Hummel said. “His M.O. was to present himself as a kid. I think a lot of kids may have gone to their parents if it was an adult who was contacting them. But if it’s another kid, they might be less likely to do that.”

Detectives combed approximately 163,000 pages of information linked to the David Brown Facebook account over a 10-year period. Detectives also spoke with one of Fyten’s ex-girlfriends and his ex-wife.

His ex-wife, Tara Holcomb, was with him from 2001 to 2008. When asked about his computer use, she said Fyten was “always” on the computer.

“She worried about him not getting enough sleep because he would sacrifice sleep for computer time,” Kalmbach wrote.

Tabitha Messenger dated Fyten from 2008 to 2011. She also said Fyten was “always” surfing the internet and that he “wasted” a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, according to court documents.

Fyten formerly worked at Deschutes Brewery, often the graveyard shift.

Fyten’s parents, who live in Bend, were notified of his arrest by police. “They did not want to sit down and speak with him,” according to court records.

Reporter: 541-383-0325,

gandrews@bendbulletin.com

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