Dutch police use deepfake technology to resurrect dead teen in hunt for murderers

The deepfake of Sedar Soares
"Someone must know who murdered my darling brother." Photo credit: YouTube / Dutch Police

As technology has improved, deepfake videos have become a cause for concern on the internet.

According to some reports, it's nearing the point where viewers are unable to distinguish a fake from a real video - at which point it's open to abuse.

That could be a video of a famous star saying nice things about you or, as is more common, faces of women imported to pornographic or violent videos.

However Dutch police say they have received "dozens of leads" after using the technology in a different way - to bring back a teenager to life 19 years after he died.

Sedar Soares was just 13 years old when he was shot dead in the car park at Rotterdam metro station. He was throwing snowballs at his friends.

With the permission of Soares' family, the police made a video in which he asks for the public's help to solve the case which has "baffled" police for years.

According to AFP, in the video the teen walks onto a football field through a guard of honour made up of friends, relatives and former teachers.

"Somebody must know who murdered my darling brother. That's why he has been brought back to life for this film," a voice says.

"Do you know more? Then speak," Sedar and the rest then say.

It was initially believed the 13-year-old had been killed because he had thrown a snowball at a vehicle, according to a Dutch news channel.

However, the police now believe it's likely he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and fell victim to a criminal gang infight.

He was a "victim of underworld violence by pure bad luck" police said, who are still seeking witnesses to the shooting.

Rotterdam police spokesperson Lillian van Duijvenbode said the fact they had received dozens of tips was "very positive".

"But we haven't yet checked if these leads are usable," she told AFP.