RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - Federal investigators say a North Carolina man allegedly captured on video sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl was arrested in Raleigh.
William Akers, 46, is in federal custody facing child pornography charges after Homeland Security asked for help identifying a man from a video.
Joseph Gallion, HSI Charlotte's Deputy Special Agent in Charge, tells WBTV the tips started pouring in.
"We knew of the crimes, but we didn't know those involved. We felt that it was important to get this individual off the street because we knew he was in the act of abusing at least one child, probably multiple," Gallion said.
Thursday, investigators said Akers was arrested in Raleigh around 1 a.m. by Homeland Security.
Akers was reportedly identified by someone who told investigators that he was employed in the Information Technology department of a Raleigh company. After looking into the tip, investigators say they were able to determine Akers was the "John Doe" they were looking for.
Wednesday, Homeland Security and investigators in Harnett County asked for help identifying a "John Doe." They said the man may have also been using the name Peter Gilbert and driving a white pickup truck.
Officials say Akers appears in a child pornography video that was seized as part of an investigation into Bailey Mills, a Sanford man who was convicted of multiple sex offenses involving children.
Bailey's wife identified the man in the video as Peter Gilbert, but HSI agents in Raleigh believe that name is an alias.
Gallion says parents need to pay attention because that predator could be right under their nose.
"There is no set profile or targeting mechanism to identify these people. The person could be down the street, across the street, across the world, across the country," Gallion said.
He says keeping your kids safe starts with monitoring their friend requests and follows.
"The anonymity that's created by the social media is definitely a dangerous thing. You may think you're dealing with a woman, but you're dealing with a man. You may think you're dealing with a child, and you're dealing with an adult," Gallion said.
Gallion tells WBTV the predators they see are always evolving.
"Like any other type of criminal or deranged individual, sometimes they adapt and they change and they learn and they get better at avoiding us," Gallion said.
He adds it's important to remember that once it's out there, you'll never get it back. Therefore, Gallion hopes parents teach their kids to think twice.
"Be careful before you click, be careful before you hit send," Gallion said.
Anyone with information about the investigation or the man should contact HSI toll free at 1-866-347-2423.