FBI program uses public’s help to fight child sex abuse

ECAP program is worldwide initiative featuring 'sanitized images'

Investigators say the public's help is especially needed now as predators are seizing the opportunity to groom victims

SAN ANTONIO – You can help the FBI identify child sex abuse predators and victims anonymously without having to leave the house.

With more time being spent online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal investigators say the public’s help is especially needed now as predators are seizing the opportunity to groom victims.

”You have sex offenders who offend against children, and they take pictures and videos while they do it, and then they distribute these pictures and videos,” said FBI Special Agent Jim Thompson.

When the FBI finds the pictures, agents censor the images and post them online.

The posting of images is part of two initiatives. One is the Endangered Child Alert Program, or ECAP, which is geared toward identifying predators. The other program called Rescue Me, is geared toward identifying victims.

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The efforts are in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

”They (investigators) take parts of the images, they’re sanitized. So it may be the background of the image and maybe the perpetrator has shown their own faces,” Thompson said.

He said the idea is that someone hopefully recognizes any clues investigators post online and comes forward with helpful information.

”We’re hoping that someone can identify that bedspread or the dresser drawer or the mirror or something that they’ve seen that before,” Thompson said.

You can log on right now to take a look at images that could possibly help identify child predators and or victims. Click here to view the images.