Wayne Nelson Corliss – Pedophile Fugitive nabbed

In court Thursday, authorities said Corliss confessed to being the man in the photos taken in 2002, describing it as euphoric and even saving one of the boys’ clothing.

The worldwide manhunt for a suspected child predator ended Thursday in New Jersey.

Wayne Nelson Corliss kept his head down as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents took him to Newark’s federal court.

Authorities say the 59-year-old New Jersey resident, who had been an international fugitive, was identified in photographs posted on the Internet sexually abusing three boys between the ages of 6 and 10 in Thailand.

Corliss said nothing has he was whisked away by law enforcement officials.

Corliss was apprehended Wednesday night on New York Avenue in Union City. He had been living for more than a decade in a neighborhood filled with children.

Those who know Corliss say he used to dress up as Santa Claus.

“He took photos with children sitting on his lap – that sort of stuff,” said Raven Squire, Corliss’ building super.

In court Thursday, authorities said Corliss confessed to being the man in the photos taken in 2002, describing it as euphoric and even saving one of the boys’ clothing.

“We presented the photos that we were using that were provided from Interpol.” ICE Special Agent In Charge Kyle Hutchins said. “And he indicated, yes that was him.”

It’s been an extraordinary case for ICE agents. Corliss’ pictures were posted on the Interpol Web site. The international law enforcement agency, based in France, had made an appeal to the public to help them identify Corliss. Within 48 hours, investigators say three people in the U.S. had identified him and called authorities.

“This investigation is very early,” Hutchins said. “We have a long way to go. We have a lot of work to do. We’re going to be looking at every lead and we’re going to be looking at if there were any other people out there involved in this in the United States.”

CBS 2 HD has learned Corliss is an actor who worked under the stage name “Wayne Casey,” and appeared in the 1984 movie “New York Nights.”

“I’ve known him about 15 – 20 years, very upstanding man,” Squire said. “(He was) quiet, good sense of humor … no indication he was in any trouble at all.”

Investigators say they found other boys’ underwear in Corliss’ house as well as child pornography. They say Corliss, who faces up to 20 years behind bars, couldn’t tell them where he got the underwear.

Officials say there are over 100 pictures of Corliss showing sexual abuse with at least three boys between 6 and 10 years old. The pictures were believed to have been taken in Southeast Asia between 2000 and 2001. There are more than 800 pictures of the series involving the boys and Corliss. INTERPOL first got the pictures of Corliss in March 2006 from police in Norway. They were found on a computer seized from another man arrested for possession of child pornography.

Codenamed, “Operations IDent,” the effort marks a new method used by law enforcement to catch child predators like Corliss who travel the world to exploit children. After the successful arrest of Christopher Paul Neil last October, which was made after INTERPOL posted unscrambled pictures of the man on their website, the agency changed its rules to allow for images to posted more frequently to ask for the public’s help in catching wanted predators.

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