Nintendo Switch Used by the FBI to Find Abducted Child


It’s the greatest fear of every parent to hear that their child was kidnapped. There’s possibly no greater thing that would scare a parent more than something bringing harm to their kid, no matter the scenario. This is why every story about a child that is found after having gone missing is always a good thing to hear. In one case recently, a child that had been missing in August 2022 was found by the FBI through the most unusual means. A Nintendo Switch console was used to help locate and find them.

An unidentified teenage girl in Virginia went missing back in August after meeting a stranger, a man named Ethan Roberts. After the two chatted online for a bit, where Ethan took advantage of the girl by sending inappropriate images and advances. Eventually, Ethan traveled to the girl’s hometown and abducted her after coercing the two of them to meet up. After news broke out of the girl missing, people who lived in her town began to post fliers and share information in hopes of finding her.

For a long time, nobody could get information on her location, until something was able to give law enforcement a lead. The girl logged onto her Nintendo Switch online account to download a game and view YouTube videos, which a friend of the girl noticed and informed law enforcement. This allowed both the FBI and Nintendo to cooperate in getting the location through the Nintendo Switch IP address. Authorities were able to move to the location to arrest Ethan and rescue the girl.

Speaking with Kotaku in an email, an FBI representative gave thoughts on the case and why it’s important to use whatever resources are available to help those in trouble. “Thanks to the local police department’s quick response and FBI Norfolk’s ingenuity, we were able to locate the missing victim through her gaming account and reunite her with her family… As the world evolves, so does the FBI and how we solve cases. This is just one example of that. And while criminals might think crossing state lines will help them get away, this case also serves as a reminder that because of the FBI’s wide reach and partnership with local law enforcement. These predators will be caught, and they will pay the consequences.”

After being apprehended by law enforcement, Ethan was indicted on multiple counts. This included online enticement of a minor, receipt of child pornography, and transportation of a minor. He was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after taking a plea deal. In another report on ABC15, retired Arizona DPS director Frank Milstead gave thoughts on how law enforcement can use digital devices to find people who have gone missing and suspects in a case. “It’s probably nothing 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.’ Everything’s connected to Wi-Fi… 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.”

What do you think about this story of a child missing and found using a Nintendo Switch? Is the news a scary thing to think about? Let us know your thoughts about everything down below in the comment section!



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Jakejames Lugo
Jakejames Lugohttps://muckrack.com/jakejames-lugo
Jakejames Lugo is a writer and content creator that has been covering video games, movies, and various sides of entertainment for over a decade. He has published reviews and articles on many different outlets and continues to make content for different platforms. Jakejames also makes video content regularly for places like YouTube and TikTok, and share daily posts about gaming on social media.

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