WASHINGTON (AP) — A former teacher at a private elementary school who is accused of possessing and producing child pornography has been added to the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” national list, authorities announced Tuesday.
Eric Justin Toth, 30, was a third-grade teacher at Beauvoir, a primary elementary school on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral, when another teacher found sexually explicit photographs on a school camera in Toth’s possession. He was escorted off campus in June 2008 and has not been seen since he lost his job.
“This is a dangerous person because of his nature, because he is a child predator, because of his ability to groom both adults and potentially these children to develop some sorts of bond of trust,” said Ronald Hosko, special agent in charge of the criminal division of the FBI’s Washington field office.
Toth’s inclusion on the list reflects the FBI’s emphasis not only on criminals with a violent history but also on those accused of Internet crimes.
“This nomination by us of Eric Toth is a reflection of what the bureau does and our changing mission,” he added.
The FBI says it’s trying to drum up publicity for the case since it lacks reliable clues about Toth’s whereabouts. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America says it’s working with the FBI to distribute bulletins and “wanted” posters to digital billboard operators and digital bus shelters.
Authorities found Toth’s car at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in August 2008, with a note suggesting he’d committed suicide in a nearby lake. But no body was found. Toth is believed to have traveled in the last four years to Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and he is believed to have been living in Arizona as recently as 2009, the FBI says.
“We don’t have a belief nor do we have any proof that he committed suicide,” Hosko said.
Authorities believe Toth is computer-savvy, may be advertising as a tutor or a male nanny and has used the alias of David Bussone.
Hosko said more than one child had been victimized by Toth, but he declined to elaborate.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to Toth’s arrest.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)