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A locker, a chirp: How tiny clues help solve child sex cases

Added 12-06-19 01:22:02am EST - “It was the odd-looking locker handles that caught their eye.” - Washingtontimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Washingtontimes.com: “A locker, a chirp: How tiny clues help solve child sex cases”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Investigators spent hours poring over graphic images of little boys changing in and out of their swimsuits at what looked like a YMCA. They were hunting for any clue to help them identify the location - and ultimately, the victims and the person who exploited them.

Then they noticed that the locker handles had unusual plastic hooks. They scrubbed the photos to remove the images of children, then sent the pictures to locker manufacturers. One of them recognized the lockers and said they had been installed at YMCAs. Eventually, investigators matched the photos to a YMCA in Sandusky, Ohio. That led to the suspect, a former Boy Scout leader.

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These weren’t FBI or local police, but investigators from the agency that’s the poster child for President Donald Trump’s polarizing immigration policies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations section has a little-known Child Exploitation Investigations lab where agents scour disturbing photos and videos of child sexual abuse.

They look for unlikely clues that help them identify the children and bring their abusers to justice. In one case, it was the loud, persistent chirping of a bird. Another time, it was unusual playground equipment.

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