It was Interpol's largest manhunt to date. In 2007 a North American male shared pictures of himself abusing 12 Asian boys. Police were able to reveal his identity by unswirling his face. That manhunt resulted in the arrest of Canadian teacher Christopher Neil in Thailand.
At the time former RCMP Forensic Specialist Brian McConaghy was gathering evidence against other child predators assaulting children in Asia. Eventually Christopher Neil's file ended up in his hands. He was given the images to assess what country these particular photos were taken in. He pursued that with his expertise he had in Cambodia.
In 2008 Brian left the RCMP and devoted himself full-time to Ratanak International - a Canadian Christian Humanitarian Organization that Brian founded. Its primary objective was to help survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking in Cambodia.
Brian continued however, to work on the Christopher Neil file, determined to find the peace of evidence that would lead to the location of the crime scene. Which was a hard process to establish from the photos all taken in one room of a building. Forensically assessing those photos and figuring out from the inside features of the building, what the outside of the building looked like.
Brian narrowed down the possibilities and then received reliable intelligence that one community in Cambodia was the most likely neighbourhood to find the building. He then walked the streets looking at the buildings that could be a possibility. As soon as he saw the building in question he knew it was it.
He couldn't get access to the building right away as it belonged to someone and he was no longer with the RCMP. He had no rights to warrants. He was stumped.
In 2012 he found that the building was up for sale. He made arrangements to go see the building with another staff member. While he was in the crime scene room, the other staff member had the realtor in another room measuring everything. While they were doing that he did a whole forensic examination under the nose of people who didn't know what was going on. He got everything he needed. After that he confirmed easily that it was the building.
Crossroads Relief and Development Director was in Cambodia around this time to meet with Brian and heard about this building. Dave had the idea to buy the building and take a place that had been used for abuse and redeem it and restore it. Would be such a beautiful story of restoration.
The crime scene is now theirs which puts him in a place to testify in court.
With the evidence Brian gathered convicted pedophile Christopher Neil was arrested in Canada in March of 2014 and pleaded guilty to 5 new charges including 2 counts of sexual interference in Cambodia. In late April a B.C. courtroom heard final arguments in his sentencing hearing.
Until that happened what we weren't able to talk about was Crossroads Relief and Development role along with Ratanak International in preserving key evidence in the prosecutions case against Neil. Evidence that would help decide how long the sentence would be.
In the 2 years since the building was purchased it has become a safe haven for boys who have experienced abuse or are at risk in the community.
With the conclusion of the legal case, we can now transform this infamous building.
It will never be a place where abuse will happen… ever again.
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