By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
The FBI is seeking the public’s help to provide information about an unidentified man suspected of child sexual exploitation, possibly on the Big Island, and who may have produced child pornography here.
The federal agency says the suspect first came to its attention in 2010 when a series of photographs surfaced on the Internet depicting the suspect apparently engaging in graphic sex acts with two children: a girl believed to be about 4 years old and a boy believed to be about 9 years old. The FBI said the photos were circulated widely among various illegal Internet forums for the sharing of child pornography.
Investigators for the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children enhanced one of the photos to develop an image of what appears to be a 2008 Hawaiian Telcom phone book in the background. And a desktop computer in the background of another photo leads investigators to conclude that the photo was likely not taken in a hotel room.
“We’re comfortable saying that the suspect was probably on Hawaii’s Big Island between 2008 and 2010,” said Special Agent Tom Simon of the FBI’s Honolulu office. “He may have lived there, or he may have been a guest in someone’s home. For all we know, he may still be living in Hawaii.”
Simon said there is no other evidence to link the suspect to Hawaii. He added that agents don’t know the man’s identity or his current whereabouts.
The FBI released a picture of the suspect, with the image of an alleged victim cut from the photo.
The agency said the suspect appears to be a Caucasian man in his 40s with brown-grey hair and blue eyes.
“The graphic pictures of the suspect performing sex acts on two young children are an absolute nightmare. The fact that he’s still out there makes it even worse,” Simon said. “… Sadly, the FBI catches a lot of consumers and distributors of child pornography. This case is a rare opportunity for us to catch an actual producer of these disturbing images.”
Anyone with information to provide is asked to call the FBI at (808) 566-4300. Simon said he wants people to “harness the power of social media to get the word out, so we can get this guy off the streets.”
“With help from the public, we are hoping that we can identify and catch this guy,” he said.
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.