FOX43 Investigates: Dauphin County deadbeat parents

"We had a guy who owed 20 dollars and jumped out a third floor window to get away from us," said Corporal Josh Avilas.

That's the reality deputies with the Dauphin County Sheriff's Department face nearly every day when going after parents who owe child support.

Here in Pennsylvania, research shows the cost of infant care is nearly even with the cost of college tuition.

It's expensive and it's enough to make your head spin.

Some parents across the state aren't pulling their weight, and in turn, their children are suffering.

Serving arrest warrants is nothing new for Dauphin County Sheriff's Deputies.

They put their lives on the line, and in these cases, it's for the kids.

"We're out here for the child. The child needs that money," said Corporal Jeffrey Teeter.

The department sees about 7,000 domestic relations warrants roll through the system each year.

They hit the streets three to four times a week in search of those people not paying their child support.

But they can't catch everybody.

"To step up in that role of a father is important to me so for people not to take care of their children.. I try not to get too many emotions involved in it but it's upsetting sometimes," said Teeter.

This wasn't the first time we tagged along with the Sheriff's Department.

In early 2015 we got an inside look at the Crimewatch database, launched in an effort to capture the county's biggest domestic relations delinquents.

Since its launch, deputies say the system has done its job.

"I think we're doing very well at this point. We have a very good street team.. they're trained well... we changed out tactics a little bit," said Teeter.

Dauphin County officials say the county started off with about 50 tips from the website.

As of this year, about 30% of the people who have outstanding domestic relations warrants are caught from tips received on the website.

Corporal Teeter says it's the community that helps the most.

"People are more willing to talk to us, some aren't, but most people will at least give us a little bit of information... and that helps a lot!" said Teeter.

Good community relations go a long way.

"I run into a 7 year old kid I'll try to have a conversation with him and let him know that we're out there for his protection and not to be scared of us," says Teeter.

But there are some, who want nothing to do with them.

"Can we take a quick peak around, make sure he's not here?" asked a deputy.

'Honey, he's not here. I swear," said a homeowner.

"We still have to check," said the deputy.

Corporal Josh Avilas says people who lie for others start off on the wrong foot and in turn, they can get themselves in trouble.

"When they lie to us it gets frustrating, because it kind of hinders us from doing our job. They don't want to let us in the house but you gotta kinda sweet talk them. Hey, we got a warrant for this guy, if he's here just be honest with us," said Avilas.

That extra time gives the people who authorities are looking for, time to find a place to hide or escape.

"We had a guy who owed 20 dollars and jumped out a third floor window to get away from us," said Avilas.

Besides the people who escape, deputies say others hide in cut outs in walls, in between mattresses and even inside deep freezers.

"I mean, people go to the extremes with this stuff..." said Teeter.

But, for these deputies, one of the most frustrating parts of it all is seeing the items some people own, who don't own up to their child support.

"You know they're backed up on everything but they're spending hundreds of dollars on PS3s, sneakers, cars," said Avilas.

It's equally as frustrating in court for Dauphin County Judge Jeannine Turgeon.

"What parent would do that? There were times in my life that I was working three jobs and I would keep working three if I had young children and needed to," said Turgeon.

She says the delinquents aren't just dads, but mothers, too.

The problems don't just lie with people who are struggling financially.

"We have a multi millionaire who's routinely a problem so there are people who just don't pay because they don't want to pay..." said Turgeon.

At the center of this issue is the children.

Judge Turgeon has a message for people out there who owe money.

"I just wish parents would understand that a broken arm takes 6 weeks to heal. The heartbreak they put their children through, may never heal," said Turgeon.

These deputies are out there in an attempt to ease that heartbreak.

"Once in a while we'll lose somebody out the back...but well eventually get them," said Avilas.

Authorities in Dauphin County and all across Central PA urge people if you know someone is behind on their child support payments, encourage them to pay.

And, if they're avoiding the system, let police know.

Police say tips on social media and through e-mail and phone are the reason children get the money they deserve.

If you have a tip, you can reach the Dauphin County Sheriff's Department at (717) 780-6590 or submit a tip at dauphin.crimewatchpa.com