FBI Receives Hundreds Of Tips In Hunt For 3rd Grade Teacher Wanted For Producing Child Porn

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The FBI says it has received hundreds of tips on a former D.C. elementary school teacher added to the bureau’s list of “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” because of accusations that he possessed and produced child pornography.

But none of the tips received in the last three weeks has led to Eric Justin Toth, a 30-year-old former camp counselor and teacher who 2008 lost his teaching job in 2008 after another teacher found images of child pornography on a school camera in Toth’s possession. He disappeared after being escorted off campus at the Beauvoir school, which is on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral. Authorities have been searching for him ever since.

PHOTO GALLERY: THE MANY FACES OF ERIC TOTH

The FBI last month added him to its list of most wanted fugitives, where Toth fills the slot vacated by the death of Osama bin Laden. They hope the boost of publicity will yield tips leading to his capture.

Ronald Hosko, the special agent in charge of the criminal division at the FBI’s Washington field office, said authorities have worked tips from “Miami to Chicago to Los Angeles,” and conducted an extensive search in South America after getting a tip there but determined the man in question was not Toth. Based on behavioral assessments, authorities believe that the computer-savvy Toth is likely to be working his way into positions of trust and interacting with young children as a teacher, nanny or some other position.

“We take each tip on its own merits, but we’re certainly more attuned to something that suggests that the person has used his skills to get into a location that’s proximate to kids in the target range. These are young teens, 10 to 12 years old,” Hosko said Tuesday.

Hosko said Toth, who grew up in the Midwest, is believed to have been sighted in Phoenix in 2009, where he was working as a quasi-counselor at a shelter under an assumed name. But he fled before authorities could arrest him. Authorities also believe Toth has traveled in the last four years to Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

“We see way too much of this crime, law enforcement does,” Hosko said. “His inclusion on this list is a reflection of the prevalence of the crime (and) the fact that we have these offenders among us in our society.”

The FBI says that Toth is the 495th person placed on the most wanted fugitives list, and that 465 of those fugitives have been found.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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