Sedar Soares walks across a soccer field. The 13-year-old is wearing a blue tracksuit and is holding a soccer ball. Then a female voice begins to speak. She tells Sedar’s story – because the boy is no longer alive. He died in 2003. Now the police would like to draw attention to the case again with new video technology and are hoping to finally get a decisive clue. Watch the poignant video here.
Case rocks Netherlands
The emotionally stirring case shook the Netherlands in 2003. The then 13-year-old was shot dead in Rotterdam. For years, police have believed the perpetrator was a motorist who got angry when Soares and friends threw snowballs at cars. But now the turning point: The authorities now assume that Sedar was an accidental victim of a fraud attempt that went awry. But there is still no trace of the perpetrators.
Hence the call using “deepfake” technology. This is what videos, images or audio files that were produced with the help of artificial intelligence are called. With a good deepfake, it’s hard to tell if the person in the video is real or not. “It’s a world first,” says police expert Daan Annegarn.
Family hopes the story will end
The video features family, friends, teachers and coaches. Because everyone is still struck by the terrible act: “He wanted to be a professional footballer,” says his sister Janet in the film. “The dream is gone.” The family finally wants to know the truth. Her brother was “brought to life especially for this film”. And then Janet and Sedar appeal together: “Do you know more? Then speak now.”
Police expert Annegarn emphasizes that the video was developed together with the family. “We are convinced that it can also affect people in the criminal environment. That witnesses and perhaps the perpetrator will come forward.” It would finally mean closure for the family. (eon with dpa)