Disney clue in abused girl hunt

Date: 2005-02-09

By James Bone

POLICE seeking a notorious child abuser have identified the scene of some of his crimes after releasing his pornographic photographs to the public with the victim’s image digitally removed.

Within minutes of the pictures airing on Canadian television, Toronto police, working with US authorities, had traced some to the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort at Disney World in Florida.

The photographs were aired by police desperate to rescue the little blonde girl, now believed to be around 12, whom they have watched grow up in hundreds of photos posted on the internet over the past three years. The photos, believed to have been taken about three years ago, show such details as a hotel-room bedspread, a decorative fountain, a hot-tub and a videogame arcade.

After the broadcast, hundreds of people called a police hotline, including two who recently had holidays in Florida.

By releasing the doctored images, police hope to exploit the fact that child abuse is a rare crime in which perpetrators circulate photographs of their wrongdoing. The child abuser is sometimes even visible in pictures of the girl, but his face is always hidden.

Images of the girl have become a collector’s item in the world of child pornography. She is so popular that her photo has been found in the computers of at least half the child pornography-users arrested in Toronto in the past two years.

From the unreleased photographs, police believe that the girl is being abused by a family member who lives in southeastern Canada or the northeast of the United States.

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