Douglasville child molester tracked to Tenn.

Fugitive was volunteering as a youth pastor

A Douglasville child molester on the run for seven years was apprehended Tuesday in Knoxville, Tenn., where he had established a new life as a youth pastor.

Larry William Whitley, 53, fled Douglasville in 2002 after violating his probation and failing to register as a sex offender. said Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller. He had been convicted of child molestation, incest and aggravated sodomy, the sheriff said.

Whitley, alias Robert Moon, worked at a West Knoxville Wal-Mart and volunteered at a local Baptist church.

"Which scares the heck out of me," Miller said. Knox County Sheriff's Office deputies are investigating to see if Whitley preyed on any of the children he supervised at the church.

Miller did not want to disclose details of the investigation but said the fugitive unit had zeroed in on Moon within "the last week or so."

He was arrested by a Douglas County deputy and a Knox County detective following a brief chase in the Wal-Mart store where he was employed. Whitley was handcuffed after falling into a clothes rack.

The former owner of a Douglasville video store looked pretty much the same, "only older," Miller said.

"We've been trying very hard to get him," the sheriff said. "It's extremely satisfying."

Whitley was returned to Douglas County on Wednesday where, as a former fugitive from justice, he faces new criminal charges. He's being held without bond, Miller said.