On August 3, 2022, a 28-year-old man named Ethan Roberts allegedly abducted a 15-year-old girl from her home in Virginia. The girl remained anonymous throughout the investigation. However, she was fortunately found 2,000 miles away in Arizona.
According to reports, the child had met Roberts on the internet, and he traveled to Virginia to visit her. Sadly, he forced her into child pornography and put her on a bus to Tolleson, Arizona.
Nintendo Switch Plays a Crucial Role
Remarkably, the FBI was able to locate the missing child by tracking her Nintendo Switch activity. The following events unfolded:
- The girl was allowed to bring her Nintendo Switch during the abduction.
- She connected to the internet using the device to watch YouTube videos or download games.
- Her friend noticed the online activity and realized that she was missing.
- The friend promptly reported the situation to the authorities.
- The FBI collaborated with Nintendo to obtain the IP address associated with the device.
- The IP address led them to Roberts’ apartment complex in Arizona.
- Eleven days after her disappearance, the police arrested Roberts at his residence.
In the subsequent legal proceedings:
- Roberts was indicted by a federal court.
- The charges against him included child pornography and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
- In April 2023, Roberts pleaded guilty and reached a plea deal.
- He was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.