Two years ago, David Mangum left Dallas, where he'd lived for a decade or more, and moved to Dexter, Missouri, population 8,000, where he got a job in a grocery store. He kept the reasons for the move mostly to himself.
Small-town life would seem ill-suited to his favorite pastime -- random sex with other men, often arranged through Craigslist -- but he found a way. During his time there, prosecutors say he had at least 60 trysts with strangers, which wouldn't be handled as a criminal matter had Mangun not neglected to tell his partners what he had known for a decade: that he was HIV positive.
Mangum, 36, first learned he was infected when he was living in Dallas in 2003, a couple of years after he'd been picked up for prostitution and one year after being prosecuted for public lewdness. Since then, he said he'd had sex with more than 300 men, often at parks, truck stops, and similarly secluded locations.
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In interviews with investigators, Mangum said it was a "fear of rejection" that kept him silent. He recently revealed his diagnosis to his roommate with whom he had been intimate who, after a positive HIV test of his own, went to police.
Dallas County health officials are currently looking for partners he may have had locally, according to the Dallas Voice, and DPD is encouraging anyone who thinks they may have contacted HIV from Mangum to file a police report.
Given the anonymity of many of the encounters, and that many of them are believed to have been with truckers and others passing through, locating victims is going to be a challenge.
"First names with no phone numbers or addresses - that's going to be a challenge," Dexter Police Chief Cory Mills told the Associated Press.