TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Tulsa Police Department said Tuesday that in mid-April 2023, Google notified the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that a person had uploaded over 100 child pornography files to their Google account between March and April.
TPD said a Google employee observed that there were photos of an unknown toddler among the child pornography that may have been taken by the account holder. The report and child pornography files from Google were eventually provided to the Tulsa Police Sexual Predator/Digital Evidence Recovery Unit, according to Tulsa police.
SPDR Unit detectives reviewed the files and agreed with the suspicion that the photos of the unknown toddler were taken by the suspect. Detectives said it was clear from the photos that the toddler had been sexually abused by a male suspect and that the crime likely occurred at a hotel in Tulsa.
Because the identities of the suspect and victim were unknown at the time, the SPDR Unit was ethically obligated to assume that the toddler was still in the hands of the abuser and was in danger of continued abuse. All available resources were employed to identify and rescue the child as quickly as possible.
On April 27, Tristion Lee Almanza was identified by Tulsa police as the primary suspect by various investigative methods. The victim was identified via social media soon after Almanza was identified.
Police said Almanza is known to have lived in various Tulsa hotels around the time of the incident. The Riverside Division Street Crimes Unit and the Gilcrease Division IMPACT unit worked diligently to locate Almanza in the areas he was known to frequent.
The next morning on April 28, SPDR Detectives located the mother of the victim in Tulsa. The mother was able to positively identify her child in the photos.
According to Tulsa police, the victim’s mother confirmed that Almanza was babysitting the victim alone on the date that the photos of sexual abuse were taken. It was also reported she was living with Almanza at a Tulsa hotel during the incident and had been dating at various times over the past 10 years.
That afternoon, an arrest warrant was issued for Almanza for Lewd Molestation and Manufacturing Child Pornography.
He was located by the TPD Fugitive Warrants Unit at his workplace in Owasso and taken into custody.
Almanza was interviewed by SPDR Detectives after his arrest, the details of which will not be released.
The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with any information relevant to the case is encouraged by TPD to contact Tulsa Crime Stoppers or SPDR Unit.