Grand Rapids, Michigan - A west Michigan pair who absconded during a federal child pornography investigation are the latest fugitives to be profiled on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) smartphone app, seeking public tips about at-large and unknown child predator suspects. The suspects are the targets of an investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Normann Pittelkow, 42, and Nicole Jacob, 35, were charged by criminal complaint Oct. 23 for producing and conspiring to produce child pornography. Following a Sept. 27 search of the pair’s Albion, Michigan, residence in connection with the probe, officers seized several computers and mobile devices.
According to state court records, the couple is accused of producing images and video of material involving the sexual abuse of minors.
Pittelkow is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. He wears corrective eye glasses and has gray hair and brown eyes. He usually wears a graying beard, but may be clean shaen to avoid detection. Investigators indicated his last known whereabouts were in west Michigan. He has ties to Georgia, where he formerly resided.
Jacob is 5 feet and 1 inch tall and weighs 120 pounds. She has black hair and blue eyes. Jacob’s last known whereabouts were also in west Michigan and she also has ties to Georgia.
Both suspect’s photos, along with their biographical information, are now posted on ICE's Operation Predator App.
Tips from the public can be reported anonymously through the app, by phone or online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Social media has proven to be an invaluable asset in HSI's efforts to identify and locate offenders in child sexual exploitation cases such as these two. We're hoping featuring these fugitives on the Predator App will produce some valuable leads in this investigation and ultimately result in their surrender or capture," said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge for HSI Detroit.
Within 36 hours of its launch in 2013, the app helped Detroit HSI special agents apprehend a Michigan man, who was later convicted and sentenced on child pornography charges.
Late last year, officials attributed pressure from social media for the surrender of an Ohio fugitive, who is currently serving a federal prison sentence.
ICE's Operation Predator App allows users to receive alerts about wanted predators, to share the information with friends via email and social media tools, and to provide information to HSI by calling or submitting an online tip. Additionally, the app allows users to view news about the arrest and prosecution of child predators and obtain information about ICE and its global partners in the fight against child exploitation.
HSI requests that anyone with information about the pair, or any of the other fugitives profiled on the app, contact the agency though the app; or by calling the HSI Tip Line, which is staffed 24-hours a day at 1-866-347-2423 from the U.S. & Canada, or 1-802-872-6199 from anywhere in the world, or by submitting an online tip form at www.ice.gov/tips/. Individuals should not attempt to apprehend the suspect personally.
The smartphone app is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together.