Alicia Kozakiewicz, 13, vanished from her Pittsburgh home on New Year’s Day 2002. Her family found no note and no sign of a break-in. She left $200 in cash on her dresser. Her parents called friends, searched the neighborhood and alerted Pittsburgh police, all to no avail.
The Newark Star-Ledger tells the story of how the disappearance was solved through use of the Patriot Act, intended as a tool to help law enforcement and intelligence services recognize, track and arrest terrorists. In this case, the federal legislation helped identify a 38-year-old pedophile who used an Internet chat room to coax the child into a rendezvous.