By Sugee Kim
The Federal Bureau of Investigation added Eric Justin Toth, an ex-elementary schoolteacher, to its list of most wanted fugitives last month under the charges of producing and possessing child pornography. The 30-year-old Hammond, Indiana native filled the slot that was vacated by Osama bin Laden.
Despite not having any past criminal charges, Toth is now indicted on a charge for producing child pornography in Maryland, as well as being charged via criminal complaint for possessing child pornography in the District of Columbia.
He was a third grader teacher at the National Cathedral’s Beauvoir school in 2008, when former colleague found images of child pornography on a school camera in Toth’s possession. Toth has also worked previously as an all-boys summer camp counselor.
According to investigation, Toth crossed state grounds shortly after being fired and disappeared before any legal action was taken. “Once the images were found, he got out of here very quickly,” Jacqueline Maguire, FBI Supervisory Special Agent said. He headed to the Midwest, where the police later found his abandoned car in a parking lot with a suicide note, which is thought to be an attempt to mislead the enforcement.
Reportedly, Toth is “adept at social engineering” and was able to use the Internet to advertise himself as a private tutor in the Maryland and D.C. area. He is also suspected to be charming and good with parents, “therefore they [the parents] allow him to be alone with their children, be in their homes, which adds to his danger,” explains Maguire.
Child pornography is a federal crime, and is one of the nation’s strictest laws. Additionally, cyber crime is one of the top rising concerns and priorities of the FBI. Toth is in violation of both.
“We are very concerned that he may be in contact with other children, so we are asking for the public’s assistance to help us capture him.” Maguire added. The FBI has received hundreds of tips, and is still pursuing Toth.
The current reward for information leading to Toth’s capture is $100,000. Any tips and leads on the matter should be directed to fbi.gov, or 1-800-CALL-FBI.