UK & World News

  • 13 August 2014, 15:14

Facial Recognition Catches 'Child Sex' Fugitive

A fugitive who jumped bail on child sex abuse charges 14 years ago has been captured - as a result of facial-recognition technology.

Juggler Neil Stammer was found in Nepal living under the alias Kevin Hodges after his photo from 1999 was recirculated by the FBI in January.

As a result the US Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), which controls US passports and embassies, scanned the photo to test its new facial-recognition technology software.

It matched the photo to a passport with the name Kevin Hodges, and pinpointed him as living in Nepal on a tourist visa.

It later emerged that Stammer, a former New Mexico magic shop owner, moved to the country eight years ago.

Special Agent Russ Wilson tracked Stammer down after being placed in charge of tracking down fugitives for the FBI's Albuquerque division.

He said: "In addition to the current fugitives, I had a stack of old cases, and Stammer's stood out.

"He was very comfortable in Nepal. My impression was that he never thought he would be discovered."

It is understood that Stammer, who speaks 12 languages, was teaching English and other languages during his time in the country.

The FBI is currently developing its own facial-recognition database, which will also store fingerprints, iris scans and palm prints.