David E. Abbott Jr., the 39-year-old lead investigator in a controversial teen sexting case, shot himself to death on Tuesday morning as police attempted to arrest him for molesting two boys.

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The veteran officer, who was a member of the Northern Virginia-Washington D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, coached 13- and 14-year-old boys in hockey in his spare time. Allegedly, he’d repeatedly asked two of his players to perform sex acts via phone and social media, in incidents that began in 2008.

The Washington Post reports on the stand-off:

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Early Tuesday, Prince William police obtained a search warrant for Abbott’s townhouse on Senea Drive in Gainesville, where he lived with his mother. Police also obtained four felony arrest warrants—two counts of indecent liberties by a custodian and two counts of use of a communication device to solicit a sexual offense.

Police arrived at the townhouse about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Prince William Sgt. Jonathan Perok said. Abbott refused to surrender. Aware that the detective probably had weapons, the police then evacuated some nearby townhouses as a precaution, Perok said.

The standoff lasted for more than four hours. Abbott came outside of the townhouse and was speaking with officers, Perok said. Then, around 7 a.m., Abbott shot himself, Perok said.

Abbott received media attention in 2014 for his behavior not as a suspect but as an investigator in another case, when lawyers of a 17-year-old boy who had been accused of sexting his 15-year-old girlfriend alleged that the Manassas City investigator had taken photos of the boy’s penis. Abbott allegedly said that after obtaining the photos, he would “use special software to compare pictures of this penis to this penis.”

Abbott was also the lead investigator on the case against Kevin Ricks, a serial child predator and pornographer who his currently serving a 45-year prison sentence.

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“This is a tragic and sad day for the Abbott family, the juvenile victims and their families, the Manassas City Police Department, and our community,” said the Manassas City police in a statement. “In spite of these recent developments regarding the serious allegations against him, we are grateful for the contributions Det. Abbott made during his time with Manassas City Police, to include the prosecution and conviction of hundreds of criminals.”


Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

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Image via Manassas Police Department.