Police released a video clip showing a teenager who was the victim of a murder nearly 20 years ago, trying to get witnesses to give their details in the case.
The fake technique imitates the child’s shape, voice and movements using artificial intelligence technology, based on one of the victim’s images.
Cedar Soares was killed in 2003 when he and his friends were throwing snowballs in the parking garage of the Rotterdam metro station.
For years, the murder of the 13-year-old has baffled police, who, with the approval of his family, released a composite video in which the teen asked the public for help solving his case.
Police believed this move could be the first of its kind in the world.
The video, lasting over a minute, shows the boy waving to the camera and holding the ball while playing soccer, then moving to the sound of moving music toward a guard on the field where his relatives, former teachers and be friends.
In the video, a voice can be heard saying, “Someone needs to know who killed my dear brother, that’s why (Suarez) was brought back to life in this video,” after which Cedar pauses in the video and throws the ball.
“You know more? When he talks,” Cedar and his family and friends say, before the teen’s photo disappears from the stadium and details on how to contact the police by phone or email appear.
A day after the video was published, police spokeswoman Lilian van Duvenbode told AFP that “the police being given dozens of information is a very positive sign. But we have not yet checked whether the data is usable.”
An announcer on the “NOS” channel indicated that police initially believed Soares had been shot, but they now confirm that the teenager was “in the wrong place and at the wrong time” and was an innocent victim of a so-called “fraud deal”, a term used when members of a criminal gang rob each other.
Police consider Soares “a victim of underworld violence due to bad luck”, and are currently seeking testimonies and statements from individuals who were aware of the incident, as well as eyewitnesses to the shooting.