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FBI used Nintendo Switch to find missing girl who was taken 2,000 miles away

FBI used Nintendo Switch to find missing girl who was taken 2,000 miles away

Thanks to the Nintendo Switch, the missing girl was retuned to her family 11 days after she went missing.

***Warning: this articles discusses topics of child abuse.***

When police and local officials are tying to solve a crime, you often find CCTV and scientific evidence are at the heart of solving the case.

But, for what is likely to be the first time ever, a Nintendo Switch game console managed to help find missing girl who was taken a staggering 2,000 miles away.

The unnamed 15-year-old girl went missing on 3 August 2022, as she befriended 28-year-old, Ethan Roberts.

According to court documents, the minor was forced into making child sex abuse images, with Roberts later travelling from Arizona to Virginia to abduct her, as per ABC 15.

Once she had gone missing, attempts in the local neighbourhood were made to try and find the missing girl and return her to her missing family.

A Nintendo Switch was vital in the finding of the missing girl.
Chesnot/Getty Images

But unfortunately, these attempts were unsuccessful, and this is when the Nintendo Switch came in.

When the minor was abducted by Roberts, she was not allowed to bring anything, though she did have her Nintendo Switch on hand.

The girl used the console to download games and watch YouTube, with a friend seeing her name pop up.

That friends' family alerted the police, and with the help of Nintendo, they were able to track down the girl once and for all.

The console manufacturer were able to to retrieve the console's IP address, allowing the FBI to locate the girl just 11 days after she went missing.

She was subsequently reunited with her family, all thanks to the Nintendo Switch.

Roberts was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison in April, as charges including the creation of child sex abuse images and the transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The FBI have never used anything like it to track down a suspect.
Celal GüneÅ/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Now retired Arizona DPS director, Frank Milstead, who was involved in the case, highlighted how unique this search operation was.

He said: "It's probably nothing that anybody even had thought of at this point.

"The fact that somebody else down the road - another child - was bright enough to go, 'Hey, look, my friend is online, and she's been missing, and I need to tell somebody.'"

He continued: "Everything's connected to Wi-Fi to LTE. A cell phone, an iPad, a watch, whatever it is - you can use those things to locate people.

"The bad guys need to know that the police are watching and that you're leaving a digital footprint everywhere you go. We will find you."

Featured Image Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images / Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Topics: Crime, Gaming, Nintendo, US News, Sexual Abuse