Officials with the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office are calling these allegations the largest-scale victimization that the department has ever seen. Investigators believe Karr sexually abused at least 11 boys between the ages of 7 and 15 over a 30 year period
. Karr would befriend the families of the young boys
. Karr's neighbors on Rifle Range Road say they often saw him with the boys.
"He would take them hunting, boating, four wheeler riding," says Sheila Beard. Beard says her family have lived in the neighborhood for years and she says Karr seemed to be a nice guy
. She also worked at the gas station on the corner of Rifle Range Road, where she says Karr would often drop in to buy the young boys candy.
"That's all he ever hung around with was little boys--no little girls, no adults
," Beard says. "We all had our suspicions, but we couldn't say anything because we didn't know." Beard says when she saw the children with Karr they never looked afraid or upset.
"They loved him. He would buy them gifts and take them on trips. They loved him."
Misty Creel with DHR's Child Abuse and Neglect Unit says it's often very difficult to find any definite signs that a child is being sexually abused, and there are often no physical symptoms at all.
"The main thing is a sudden change in your child,"Creel explains. Creel says children who are being abused may sometimes begin doing poorly in school or start acting out, sometimes sexually. The most important thing is to keep an open line of communication with the children.
Creel also says she would be wary of any adult offering a child gifts or special treatment that is not being given to anyone else. She cautions parents to speak to their children about the special behavior and approach the adult to better understand the situation.