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Suspect Scott Tyree: 'A classic long-haired computer guy'

Saturday, January 05, 2002

By Dennis B. Roddy and Jon Schmitz, Post-Gazette Staff Writers

Those who knew him, or thought they did, described Scott W. Tyree as a classic computer geek: waist-length hair tied into a ponytail, blue jeans and T-shirts as business attire, a body that looked as if it hadn't seen a gym in a while.

An FBI photo of suspect Scott W. Tyree, 38, of Herndon, Va.

When he was online -- a common venue for computer programmers -- his exchanges often dealt with glitches and fixes for balky software. But other exchanges with people he met online gave an occasional glimpse into a more jarring side.

"I'm waiting for a mail from Scott Tyree before I go ahead and pierce my nipples," wrote one correspondent to the "bodyart" newsgroup where aficionados of various, exotic body piercings sought advice and referrals. Tyree occasionally referred young women in the San Francisco area to people who could perform exotic piercings.

On another occasion he directed an inquirer to a catalogue that sold brass, gold and nickel plate body rings. He steered one correspondent toward a San Francisco shop that provided body piercings and leather gear.

When police searched his Herndon, Va., townhouse yesterday, they found 13-year-old Alicia Kozakiewicz, bound and missing since New Year's Day. They also found materials relating to bondage and sado-masochistic materials.

Last night, FBI agents removed several computers and other equipment from his townhouse.

Tyree, 38, was arrested while on the job for the Herndon, Va., office of Computer Associates International, a software engineering firm whose Web page includes a link to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Tyree had moved to the high-tech corridor of suburban Washington, D.C., in 1995 after knocking about in the quick-turnover world of Silicon Valley, where a succession of employers were gobbled up by larger firms.

He married at 20, was amicably divorced before 30, and gave no foreboding of the bizarre events that were to punctuate his life.

"I'm utterly, completely shocked," said his ex-wife, Sarah Tyree, who still lives in California, and has custody of the couple's 12-year-old daughter.

She said the daughter had visited her father in Virginia, staying with him for the entire month of December during a break from school. The daughter returned to California on New Year's Day and gave no indications of any problems or unusual activity during the visit, her mother said.

"She has always had a wonderful time when she goes there," Sarah Tyree said.

Scott and Sarah Tyree were married in California in 1986, separated in 1991 and were divorced in 1995. She said they had married too young and had a "multitude of our own problems that stemmed from us being young and immature."

Scott Tyree then moved east, where a second marriage quickly dissolved.

In July 1995, he married a woman he had met just weeks earlier in a visit to Virginia. But by August, when he packed his belongings in California and moved to Virginia, she had taken up with another man.

Sarah Tyree said her husband was "a classic, long-haired computer guy" with an interest in science fiction and computer games. She said he had no prior brushes with the law.

She said he was a "pretty straight-up, ethical sort of guy" who had a high-level government security clearance stemming from his work as a computer programmer with several companies that did business for the government.

Tyree's encounter with Alicia Kozakiewicz apparently began online, but investigators now believe he drove from Herndon earlier this month and took the teen-ager to suburban Washington in a black Mitsubishi automobile. Sometime earlier this week, they said, he bragged online to a friend about having a girl in his apartment and sent, via a digital camera, a photo of the girl.

At the Courts of Chandon townhouse complex in Herndon, Tyree's landlord described him as a typical "computer geek" who worked for a reputable firm, was personable, and chronically late with his $1,000 monthly rent. His December rent was paid in cash because the check bounced.

Staff writer Rachel Smolkin contributed to this report.

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