Marshals find man sought in child sex crimes at fast-food restaurant

Clifford Melvin Keetion Jr.
Clifford Melvin Keetion Jr.

Federal marshals have found a man sought on charges he molested an 11-year-old girl.

Clifford Keetion Jr., 44, was sought on arrest warrants filed March 8 by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department . He was wanted on charges of unlawful touching of a child, attempted sexual battery and two counts of sexual battery.

Keetion said he is homeless, and was living with the girl’s family, investigators said.

“He disappeared,” sheriff’s Lt. Coley Judy said. “We couldn’t find him.”

Members of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force received a tip and found him Monday. He was eating at the Burger King on Popp’s Ferry and Pass roads, said Randy Brouillette, supervisory agent of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The child was assaulted Jan. 23 at a home on the east side of the county, Judy said.

“The child told a school nurse she was hurting,” Judy said. “The grandmother took her to a hospital and that’s where the child disclosed all details of what went on. A forensic interview on Feb. 14 further documented it.”

Keetion was booked at the Harrison County jail. Justice Court Judge Diane Ladner set bonds that total $400,000 when she signed an arrest warrant.

Judy said an investigator with the sheriff’s department is assigned to the fugitive task force.

“The task force helps us out a lot when we can’t find someone,” he said.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews