By Seth Baker
A new name has been added to the FBI’s 10 most wanted list this Tuesday, a former private school teacher and camp counselor who is being charged with child photo and video pornography.
Eric Toth, who has no previous criminal charges, is being prosecuted in the district of Maryland for “producing child porn via criminal complaint” and another for possessing child pornography,” the 2nd under seal out of respect for the victim. There has now been confirmed that there is more than 1 pre-pubescent (under the age of 12) victim.
Growing up in Northwest Indiana, Toth then attended to Cornell, transferred to Perdu University and received a degree in education. He taught for 3 years at a private school in Washington and Hammon, Indiana, as well as working at an all boy summer camp in Wisconsin from 2004 to 2006. In Washington, DC, he tutored outside of his 3rd grade class, while also being a male nanny.
Jacqueline Maguire, a spokeswoman for the FBI and Supervisory Special Agent explained that he was discovered in 2008 when “there was a camera at the school that another staff member found and saw images on it.” That camera was later determined to be in Toth’s possession.
The metropolitan police department in DC responded to the school and began the investigation with the FBI entering the search due to the Federal crime nature of child pornography. Toth was not arrested, he was rather charged subsequent to images being found because at that point he had already fled.
The FBI reports that he drove to Northwest Indiana, stayed for a few days, then he drove to Illinois where he picked up a cell phone and GPS on his way to Minneapolis St. Paul airport. Then in the beginning of August, airport attendants noticed his Honda sitting in a long term parking area, which held inside child pornographic images and an “apparent suicide note.”
There has been a confirmed sighting in Phoenix a year later, supporting the idea that the suicide note not could have been a decoy. He does not have a valid passport, but he could have found a way to get out of the country.
Of the 495 people that have been placed on the FBI’s top 10 list, Toth is only the 4th individual added because of child pornography. When there is an opening, the criminal investigative decision campus all 56 offices across the country to see if there are any candidates to submit for the list.
The Criteria of which is that the “1. The individual is known to be a danger to the public. 2. The FBI feels added publicity would be beneficial to the case.”
Those nominees are reviewed by personnel agents and then once candidates are selected as a possible addition, they are forwarded to FBI executive management, and in some cases their director. Maguire seems optimistic about the use of the list to capture dangerous criminals, stating that it has an “Almost a 95% success rate.”
Through the use of publicity with the list, as well as an aggressive social media campaign through television, Facebook, and Twitter, the FBI hopes that someone will recognize his face and contact them immediately. Maguire states that he is a serious danger because his background is education—being a teacher, tutor, and nanny— as well as being skillful with computers.
For those on the FBI’s top 10 list, awards are offered up to $100,000 for those who aid in the capturing of these dangerous individuals. According to the FBI, Toth is especially adept at what they term “social engineering”—the ability to quickly persuade and earn the trust of others.
For a man like Toth, “there is no on and off switch that he is just going to stop having the desires that he does with young children,” explains Maguire. Maguire. Yet she remains optimistic, stating, “we want people to report anything to us” in the hope that, through the vast amounts of publicity, Toth will be brought to justice.