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LDS missionary arrested in California on suspicion of distributing child pornography

Hayden Hunter is a resident of Pleasant Grove, Utah
Hayden Hunter booking photo.jpg
Posted at 9:54 AM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 11:54:39-05

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — A 19-year-old Utah man was arrested early Wednesday morning in California in connection with a months-long child pornography investigation.

According to a post on the Mountain View Police Department's Facebook page, Hayden Hunter of Pleasant Grove, Utah was arrested around 8 a.m. Wednesday in Fremont, California.

Hunter was stationed in Fremont where he was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, police said.

Officers arrested Hunter on suspicion of child pornography as well as for distribution of child pornography.

In September of 2019, Mountain View Police cyber detectives received a tip that someone in a private Facebook Messenger group chat was connected to more than 20 cyber tips relating to suspected child pornography.

This Facebook Messenger group also included members possibly as young as 13 years old.

Over the course of the next few months, detectives had to cull through and ultimately identify numerous videos and images of what was determined to be child pornography.

These investigations take time, particularly due to the graphic nature of the imagery our teams are exposed to, along with the amount of requests that we send out to ensure we are getting as much information as possible.

While we continue to investigate this case, detectives are concerned that there may be additional victims who may have interacted with Hunter either online or in person.

If you or someone you know interacted with the email katieteal15@gmail.com (a username and alias that Hunter was using) or who may have interacted with Hunter during his time in the Bay Area as a missionary, please contact Sgt. Tim Dahl at timothy.dahl@mountainview.gov.

“Our investigators did a phenomenal job working this case,” said Mountain View Police Lt. Frank St. Clair. “Their diligence and tireless efforts to stop this predatory behavior are commendable.”