A nearly year-long investigation by the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) ends with the arrest of a 19-year-old college student on 20 felony counts of child pornography possession.
Ethan Edlund – a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) – surrendered to the Fugitive Apprehension Unit of the Chicago (IL) Police Department on Wednesday afternoon (August 4, 2021). He remains in their custody pending an extradition hearing. It’s not clear at this time when he’ll be transported to Volusia County Jail.
DBPD’s Advanced Technology & Cyber Crimes (ATAC) Unit began investigating Edlund in September 2020 after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that someone in the Daytona Beach area used a file-sharing cloud storage service to store child pornography.
Investigators linked the account – which held video of a child involved in a sex act – to Edlund. Various Internet Protocol (IP) addresses used to access that account were also traced to Edlund, including some assigned to ERAU and others which he used while staying with family in Chicago.
In December 2020, an ATAC search warrant signed by a Volusia County judge allowed access to a Google email account linked to Edlund. That led to the discovery of over 1,200 pornographic videos, many of which showed children involved in a variety of sex acts.
Another search warrant signed by a Volusia County judge in March 2021 allowed ATAC access to Edlund’s dorm room at ERAU, where officers seized a laptop and smartphone belonging to him. Edlund spoke to officers briefly at that time but refused to talk any further once his Miranda rights were read.
A forensic analysis of the smartphone turned up more child pornography videos. Some of the videos found on the phone are the basis for the charges filed against Edlund by DBPD.
Investigators are still actively working this case, so additional charges against Edlund may be added at any time.
Edlund's mugshot is courtesy of the Chicago Police Department.