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The FBI found a missing 15-year-old girl last year in Arizona by using the Nintendo Switch to find her. Before being taken away, she was last seen in Virginia on August 3rd, 2022. Posters were all around the area. It was discovered that the girl stayed at home most of the time and was unlikely to have fled.
The parents increasingly became discouraged after unsuccessful street searches. The young woman was traveling to a different state by bus and was 3,000 kilometers from her home at the time.
Ethan Roberts, a 28-year-old male, reportedly made her a friend online, according to court documents. Ethan picked up the girl in Virginia, where they had agreed to meet, drove her out of town, and then forced her to watch child porn.
Roberts did permit the kid to bring a Nintendo Switch gaming system, though. Every time it was linked to the internet, the gadget left a digital footprint.
How Can Nintendo Switch Help Us in a Critical Situation? And How Did It Help in This Case?
A feature of the Nintendo Switch allows users to notify friends of their online behavior. This corporate gaming element could have prevented the teen’s death. After noticing her activities, a friend who was aware of the girl’s disappearance informed the authorities.
The IP address of the console, which pointed to Roberts’ house, was discovered by Nintendo. The dad was detained when the FBI and Tolleson police surrounded his residence eleven days after the youngster vanished.
The girl’s family in Virginia received a safe return. If not for Nintendo, everything may have ended horribly or for a much longer period of time.
Former Arizona DPS director Frank Milstead joked that it probably never even occurred to anyone that this was possible until that moment.
“The fact that a different youngster had the intelligence to consider that ‘Wow, my buddy is online, but she’s gone, I need to inform someone about it right away’.”
Police frequently trace digital devices to apprehend offenders and locate the missing, according to Milstead, who was not engaged in the case.
Everything is wired to Wi-Fi or LTE, according to Milstead. “You can find people using a cell phone, an iPad, a watch, or whatever else.”
“Criminals need to be aware that the police are keeping an eye on them and that they are leaving a digital trail everywhere they go. We will track you down.”
In April, after entering a guilty plea, Ethan Roberts received a 30-year jail term.