NASA aids search for Fla. girl

National Aeronautic and Space Administration

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As the search continues for an 11-year-old Florida girl abducted Feb. 1, NASA is using its considerable resources to give law enforcement officials a closer look at the prime suspect.

Two NASA facilities, the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, have enhanced a videotape that authorities say may show the abduction of the girl, identified as Carlie Brucia. The video, recorded by a security camera at a Saratoga carwash, shows the prime suspect in the case leading the girl away by her arm.

NASA employees at Marshall used a software program called the Video Image Stabilization and Registration system to enhance the images, allowing investigators to get a better look at the man's face, a nametag on his shirt and tattoos on his arms.

The Kennedy Space Center has a new Image Analysis Facility that also helped to enhance the videotape. This $3.2 million system features a Silicon Graphics Inc. TP9500 data management system to review videotape. The system was installed in preparation for the space shuttle program's return to flight and allows engineers to analyze launch videotapes within hours.

Marshall's VISAR system is distinguished by the ability to correct for changes in orientation and size, and it was used to investigate the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

Florida officials had a suspect in custody as of today, but the girl remains missing.

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