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FBI seeks public help with international serial child molester case

Passport pictures of Vahey over the years.
Passport pictures of Vahey over the years.

The horrid past caught up with 64-year-old William James Vahey when he committed suicide last month in Luverne, Minnesota. The married father of two adult children had two official residences, one in London, England and another on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

The FBI is asking for the public’s help to identify victims of Vahey, who is suspected of being an international child predator while maintaining a teaching career in various private American schools abroad since 1972.

Vahey killed himself on March 21, 2014. Two days before, a search warrant was issued to allow FBI agents access to a USB thumb drive in Vahey’s possession. Given to the FBI by an employee of an American school in Managua, Nicaragua.

Vahey was terminated on March 12, 2014 after the school employee found “pornographic images of minor males who appeared to be asleep or unconscious” on the USB drive, the FBI indicates. “The minors appeared to be middle school-aged, approximately 12 to 14 years old.”

“According to the employee, the folders containing the pornographic images were titled with locations and corresponding dates the employee believed referenced locations Vahey had previously traveled with students,” a statement from the FBI revealed. “The employee stated that Vahey had been teaching ninth grade world history and advanced geography at the school since August 12, 2013.”

“According to the report, when the employee confronted Vahey about the images, he confessed he was molested as a child and admitted he molested boys throughout his entire life,” the FBI release said. “He further reportedly admitted giving the minors sleeping pills prior to the molestation.”

FBI agents found over 90 victims going back to 2008 on the USB drive.Now the FBI is trying to reach any potential victims of Vahey to advance their investigation. According to the agency, victims could be foreign nationals, children of “American diplomats, military personnel stationed overseas, and other American citizens working abroad.”

Vahey spent 90 days in jail in California in 1969 for child molestation and never renewed his sex offender registration requirements since 1970, the FBI discovered.

Vahey had numerous teaching and coaching positions for children in Nicaragua, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Iran, Spain, and Lebanon.

Contact your local FBI office if you have information to share.

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