National Center for Missing Kids honors investigators

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- On Capitol Hill, an FBI agent who helped track down former Beauvoir schoolteacher and pedophile Eric Toth was among those in federal, state and local law enforcement honored at a Congressional breakfast.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recognized investigators whose work led to the recovery of missing kids and saved children from sexual exploitation. WUSA9 spoke with a key investigator who helped crack the local case of Eric Toth, who became a high-profile fugitive.

"I knew that we would catch him," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher.

Tipped off by an observant tourist visiting Central America, federal agents tracked child sex predator Eric Toth to Nicaragua.

"Within 48 hours we had him in handcuffs," he said.

Toth's arrest offered the final missing piece of an international puzzle.

"It was more like a Rubik's cube. There were moving parts in every direction and we had leads literally all over the country, then all over the world," said Gallagher.

Toth was a teacher at Washington's Beauvoir School who gained the trust of parents and access to children; even in their own homes, as this video reveals.

"The victims see how the parents like this individual… makes it that much harder for them to come forward when something bad happened to them," he said.

Toth's criminal conduct was discovered when a student borrowed a camera from his classroom, containing explicit images of children. He became the first Internet child sexual predator to make the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitive list.

In March of this year, Toth was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. He also faces a lifetime of supervision after he is released.


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