Investigating child pornography is a difficult job. There are as many as 600,000 images of child pornography circulating on the Internet. Now, Canadian investigators have come up with a new way to use the photos to track those perpetrating child pornography.
By themselves, these pictures from the Internet are ordinary. But these are not the original photos. A missing young girl was previously featured in each picture, but her image was electronically removed by Canadian police investigating child pornography.
Detective Bill McGarry is with the Toronto police. "She cannot speak to me, so the background did it for her," said detective McGarry.
When police released the edited photos, the response was overwhelming. People recognized the hotel, which is an undisclosed U.S. city, where police have now expanded their investigation.
Sergeant Paul Gillespie with the Toronto Police says, "I absolutely believe we need to use the strength of the Internet for the good guys advantage."
Sergeant Gillespie says the girl was victimized in a series of 200 photos during a three-year-period, long enough for police to watch her grow. Even though the pictures are old, police say they are one step closer, because now they know where the crime scene was. And after going through hotel records, police hope to match the girl's image with an identity, and rescue her.