Law enforcement and investigators are leveraging Oxygen Forensic® Detective facial categorization and native-language forensic capabilities to bring child sexual abusers to justice in an active case in Latin America.
Building a strong case as quickly as possible
The case broke wide open when national law enforcement in Ecuador raided a suspect’s house. While strides had been made in stopping child sexual exploitation and abuse, gaps in national laws meant police still handled calls about this kind of crime.
Based on a lead, law enforcement entered the home and found a mountain of potential evidence, including data on phones, computers, and other types of gadgets. All told, they gathered more than 230,000 photos and 40,000 videos related to the case. One suspect was arrested and another escaped.
Distilling a mountain of evidence to the essential pieces
Ecuador’s attorney general needed the large volume of digital evidence processed as quickly as possible. For help, police reached out to Fextor, a locally based, multidisciplinary service provider in risk management formed by former officials of the US departments of Homeland Security, State, and Diplomatic Security. They shared with the company 15 specific photos of exploited children for which they needed a match from the 5 TB of evidence seized.
Fast identification of the critical data needed
Fextor CEO Francisco Estupiñán contacted a number of US-based providers of digital forensic software looking for a product that would expedite the matching process. Oxygen Forensics responded fastest — within 24 hours — and helped the company understand how Oxygen Forensic® Detective could help them locate what they needed.
The forensic investigator on this case had no previous training on Oxygen Forensic® Detective, but found the tool so “easy to use and intuitive” that he was able to work with it immediately.
After two days of intense forensic work, the investigator matched images that helped identify two minors. The data ultimately gave the law enforcement client enough evidence to present eight cases for sexual abuse and child pornography.
The Fextor investigator relied heavily on the Oxygen Forensic® Detective facial categorization feature to match images with a high degree of accuracy, allowing him to tie the suspects to more of the evidence with confidence. Without this tool the available evidence would have been less incriminating and would have resulted in charges for a lesser offense.
Fextor commented that they found Oxygen Forensic® Detective to be very user friendly and extremely quick.They leveraged hashes to identify chats as well images. The social graph feature also was very useful, allowing them to pinpoint the location of calls and messages. The option to do all of this directly in the tool in Spanish expedited the research.
The trial in this case is pending.