UPDATE: German police arrest a suspect
German police have issued photos of a four or five-year-old girl obtained from a child sexual abuse video on a dark web paedophile platform. Detectives believe she may still be suffering at the hands of the video maker and are appealing to the public for information about who the child is.
Sickening footage of the blonde, German speaking child being harmed showed up on the dark web – an anonymous criminal corner of the internet – in July. They believe the crimes against her took place over the previous eight months.
Despite tireless work, they have been unable to identify the girl or her tormentor so have taken the unusual move of publishing non-pornographic pictures of her in the hope that a member of the public will recognise her.
The suspect had been extremely careful not to reveal their own identity in the videos. Police said it was entirely possible that they are still abusing her.
The dark web has become awash with child pornography. On 6 October, Australian authorities announced that they had identified over 1,000 people uploading and sharing child abuse content on a dark web forum called Child's Play.
The investigators secretly arrested the forum creator then assumed his online identity and pretended to be him for several months, all the while collecting evidence against community members.
In the latest case of the young girl, The German Federal Police, Bundeskriminalamt, (BKA), published a statement, reading: "The picture and video recordings of the sexual abuse of the affected child were discovered for the first time in July 2017 on a child pornography platform in the so-called dark net.
"The BKA assume that the activities took place in the period from October 2016 to July 2017 in Germany.
"The extensive investigation carried out so far did not lead to the identification of the extremely cautious acting suspect. No picture or video recordings are available.
"The Generalate Public Prosecutor's office in Frankfurt am Main and the BKA assume that the victim is still exposed to the access of the unidentified suspect, so that a continued sexual abuse of the child can not be ruled out.
"Since there are no further investigative possibilities, the District Court of Giessen ordered a public inquiry with pictures of the victim.
"The Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Frankfurt am Main and the BKA hope to identify with the support of the public the hitherto unknown victim and the unknown suspects as well as to be able to terminate an indisputable ongoing sexual abuse."