A new facial recognition system being used by the FBI has managed to track down and capture a convicted paedophile on the Most Wanted List who disappeared 19 years ago.
Lynn Cozart, 63, from Beaver County, Pennsylvania was convicted for sexually assaulting his three children in February 1996, and he went missing just before his sentencing hearing two months later.
He managed to leave the state and stay under the radar for almost two decades, until the FBI used the $1bn (£650m, €900m) Next Generation Identification (NGI) system built by Lockheed Martin to track him down.
The FBI submitted Cozart’s mug shot to the NGI system, which used facial recognition to capture biometric data of his face.
The system then sought matches from other databases belonging to state agencies across the US, from government-issued licence databases to any form of government-collected data of scanned facial images taken from video or photos.
The system spotted a match amongst driving licence photos held by Arkansas’ motor vehicle department, and from there, the fugitive was tracked down to yet another state – Muskogee in Arkansas, more than 1,160 miles away from Pennsylvania.
Cozart was found working in Walmart under an assumed name, David Stone, and was apprehended by the town’s police officers.