SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A man who ran from the law in Schenectady will be the focus of an Investigation Discovery program that will air Wednesday night. The fugitive case will be featured on “In Pursuit with John Walsh.”
Rex Byrnes fled Schenectady in 2018 after being indicted on charges that he sexually abused his own daughter. Schenectady Police Detective Joseph Zelezniak and Detective Michael Hudson both participated in the filming of the program, having worked on the case.
The police department sees “In Pursuit” as an opportunity for justice, as Byrnes could be a danger to other kids, wherever he is now.
“This is a dangerous individual,” said Schenectady Police Sgt. Nick Mannix. “The more people that can see this man’s face, the more help that we can get from it.”
Michelle Sigona, producer of “In Pursuit,” said the show works in tandem with local authorities to investigate and track down dangerous people on the run, and the participation from viewers calling in tips is crucial.
“They’ll place a fugitive at a very specific location,” Sigona said, “so investigators know where to go.”
Sigona hopes when people tune in, they’ll walk away with more than just keeping an eye out for Byrnes.
“This survivor, this young girl who’s now a teenager, was brave enough to talk about what happened to her,” Sigona said, “and if someone else has been in that situation and maybe they haven’t come forward, maybe it will inspire them to seek help.”
When Byrnes disappeared in 2018, he was 5 feet 8 inches tall, 150 pounds, with long brown hair and a lazy eye. He has a large tattoo of two gargoyles on his back. Though he was living in Schenectady, he’s originally from Canajoharie. It’s believed he could now be in the Bradenton, Florida area.
The episode of “In Pursuit with John Walsh” that features this local case will air on Investigation Discovery Wednesday night and stream on Discovery+.
The show is encouraging any viewers with any information on Byrnes whereabouts to text or call its call center at 1-833-3-PURSUE or to submit online at InPursuitTips.com. These resources are both staffed by trained and Spanish-speaking operators who will accept anonymous tips and alert the proper authorities.