The FBI is taking a chance that a rare glimpse of a suspected child predator will help them identify a man dubbed John Doe 28. The agency is calling on the public nationwide to look at enhanced images taken from a video in hopes someone, somewhere will recognize the unidentified man or the room seen in the background.

The two-minute video was discovered online in November 2012 by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and was recovered during the arrest of a San Francisco man on child pornography charge. Investigators say it shows John Doe 28 engaging in sexually explicit activities with a young boy.

“Subjects who show their faces in child pornography are not typical,” Special Agent Karen Jurden said. “It is our hope that someone will recognize this individual and come forward. We were able to recover a very clear image of John Doe 28.”

Jurden said the video was part of a collection seized in the San Francisco bust,  and explained that sexually explicit videos and images of children are often traded anonymously through online forums.


Investigators working with NCMEC, an organization that partners with the FBI to stop child predators, enhanced the video to show other details that could help in identifying the suspect. The video appears to be set in a home–there is a blue chair, and a painting hanging on the wall can be seen. The suspect is a white male who appears to be in his 30s or 40s. He has a receding hairline, and is wearing wire-framed glasses and a burgundy T-shirt with a fish logo on it. He is believed to be American because in the video he speaks one word in English: “Careful.”

Agents hope someone who knows the suspect or the home, will lead them to John Doe 28 and his young victim, who is also seen in the video.

“Sometimes we will get some type of identifier that narrows down the geographic region,” Jurden said. “But that didn’t happen in this case. That’s why we are asking for the public’s help nationwide.”

Jurden, who has been investigating crimes against children for  four years, is focused on recovering the exploited child.

“We need to identify John Doe 28 so we can make sure no harm comes to that little boy,” she said.

Anyone with information can submit a tip online or call the FBI’s toll-free tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI.