The Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit has issued an urgent plea to the public to help identify the victim of a possible sexual assault, which is believed to have occurred either in the Edmonton area or on Vancouver Island.
The appeal comes as part of an ongoing investigation into child exploitation, with the aim of providing support to the young victim.
A photograph of the bedroom where the alleged sexual assault took place has been released by ICE.
The image was retrieved from a cellphone belonging to a child sexual exploitation suspect, who was taken into custody on August 17th. Due to legal restrictions under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the identity of the 16-year-old suspect cannot be disclosed.
The suspect has been charged with possession of child pornography, access child pornography, and transmission of child pornography.
“Our hope is that someone recognizes this crime scene and can help locate our victim. We believe this victim has suffered extensively and want to provide them with the support they deserve,” said Sergeant Kerry Shima, ALERT ICE.
At the time of their arrest, the suspect was residing in Bon Accord, Alberta, approximately 30 kilometers north of Edmonton. However, the suspect is believed to have lived in various locations in the Edmonton area and, more recently, on the east coast of Vancouver Island, near Nanaimo and Ladysmith.
ICE said they have been working diligently to identify the victim but has not yet succeeded.
It is estimated that the victim is a female aged between six and ten years old.
Investigators believe that the victim and the suspect were acquainted, though specific details are being withheld to protect the identity of the youth offender.
A comprehensive forensic analysis is currently underway on the computers and electronic devices seized from the suspect to gather further evidence.
This case was first reported to ICE in July 2023 by the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Crime Centre (NCECC). The suspect allegedly uploaded child exploitation materials through the Discord platform.
Anyone with information related to this case are urged to contact the authorities through the following channels:
For the Edmonton area, reach out to the Edmonton Police Service non-emergency line at 780-423-4567.
For the Nanaimo area, contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. Those in the Ladysmith area are asked to get in touch with Ladysmith RCMP at 250-245-2215.
Alternatively, anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).