FBI hunts John Doe suspect wanted for sex attack on child in back of van

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FBI hunts John Doe suspect wanted for sex attack on child in back of van

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The FBI says it is hunting a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a child in the back of a van.

The person of interest, known as John Doe 48, was captured on video abusing the child, whom the FBI said it is also trying to identify and locate. 

The FBI issued the appeal on Wednesday via its Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP), a national and international media request for information on unknown adults, referred to as John/Jane Does, whose faces and/or other distinguishing characteristics are visible in association with child pornography images.

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John Doe 48 is wanted by the FBI. He is described as a white man with dark hair, a gray beard and a tattoo on each of his forearms. (FBI; iStock)

John Doe 48 is described as a white man, aged between 45 and 65 years old, with dark hair and a gray beard. He has a tattoo on each of his forearms.

He is seen in the video in the back of a 2018-2019 Nissan NV cargo van wearing a blue T-shirt and a dark-colored hat. He is heard speaking English in the video, the FBI said.

The FBI uncovered the video in December 2023 during three other investigations by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The data embedded within the video file indicated that it was produced in October 2023.

The FBI says John Doe 48 has critical information pertaining to the identity of the child victim in an ongoing sexual exploitation investigation.

“This person is definitely a person of interest,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Karen Jurden told Fox News Digital. “It’s important to get this out to the public so that the public can assist in identifying the person.”

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An FBI agent uses a gun in action

The FBI says it is hunting a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a child in the back of a van. (iStock)

Jurden said the video allegedly shows John Doe 48 abusing a minor in the back of a vehicle. It is unclear where the video was taken, and the FBI did not provide the age or sex of the victim.

Jurden said the FBI issues an appeal via its ECAP when all other investigative and analytical steps to try to identify the subject have been exhausted.

“Normally, before we initiate a national press release, we put it out to our state and local as well as with other agents and FBI to see if they came across it in their investigations. So we try to [investigate] everything before we put out a press release.” 

“As of today, we’ll have a total of 48 John or Jane Does, and out of that number, 35 have been identified.”

She stressed that not all persons on the list are alleged to have sexually assaulted a child. 

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Jurden said that sometimes they may have information that might lead investigators to an abuser. 

“It’s resulted in the identification of over 50 child victims,” Jurden says.

Anyone with information can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov or call the FBI’s toll-free tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). The public is reminded that no charges have been filed in this case and that the pictured individual is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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