When four horrifying videos, featuring a middle-aged man sexually assaulting a young girl believed to be between 7 and 9 years old, hit the Internet on May 2, Danish police who discovered the clips contacted U.S. authorities. They knew the videos were taken in April, but they couldn't be sure in what country they were filmed. Until they spotted a seemingly innocuous detail in the background: A pretzel bag!
Authorities say they believe the acts were committed here in the States, because a Frito-Lay Rold Gold bag of thin pretzels appears in the videos, and that particular packaging is made only in the U.S. Canada's pretzels have different packaging and French language descriptions. Crazy, huh?
While the pretzel bag serves as an important clue, it's obviously not enough. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has publicly released five photos of the man -- identified as "John Doe" -- carefully taken from the four videos. There's a warrant for his arrest, and authorities are asking the public to help identify the man, who is described as being between 45 and 55 years old with a heavy-set build, a wreath of light brown hair, a brown mustache, and a beer gut. Investigators also believe he is either a musician or collects musical instruments, being that guitars, speakers, a keyboard, electronic equipment, and a musician stand and stool also appear in the room where the videos were made.
The details surrounding this story are enough to make your skin crawl, but fingers crossed they're what may make all the difference in helping authorities -- and the public -- track this creep down.
As Brian Korzak, a special agent with ICE's Cyber Crimes Center, said, "Without the public's help, we may not be able [to find the man] and more importantly stop the ongoing abuse of this victim."
Special Agent Patrick Redling added:
Since the videos were created so recently, we feel there's a child in danger right now. And so we're looking to your help to get the word out about this particular investigation so hopefully we can catch this child sexual predator, take him off the streets and save this child from more harm.
Anyone with information should call the ICE on 1-866-347-2423 from the U.S. & Canada or 1-802-872- 6199 from anywhere else in the world. You can also visit the ICE Tips site.
Image via joyosity/Flickr