Dutch police have used deepfake technology to "resurrect" a 13-year-old boy to appeal for witnesses almost two decades after his murder.

Sedar Soares was shot dead in the parking lot of the Slinge subway station in Rotterdam on Feb. 1, 2003, while he was throwing snowballs with friends.

The teen’s murder baffled police for years, who thought he was killed by an angry motorist whose car was hit by a snowball.

But now, police gained shreds of evidence to believe that Soares was an innocent and unintended victim of a rip drug deal in which one party intends to leave with both money and drugs. 

They say "he was at the wrong place at the wrong time" and was "a victim of underworld violence by pure bad luck".

With the permission of Soares' family, the police have released a video in which Soares asks the public to help solve the mystery behind his death.

In the minute-long video, the teen is shown on a football field, He greets the camera, picks up a soccer ball, and walks through a guard of honor given by his relatives, former teachers, and friends.

"Somebody must know who murdered my darling brother. That's why he has been brought back to life for this film," his sister says in the voice-over before Soares stops and drops his ball.

"Do you know more? Then speak," Soares and his loved ones urge before the image disappears and the video gives the police contact details.

"The fact that we have already received dozens of tips is very positive," Rotterdam police spokeswoman Lillian van Duijvenbode said, on Monday, a day after the deepfake video was released.

"But we haven't yet checked if these leads are useable," she told AFP.
 
 Daan Annegarn of the National Investigation Communication Team at the police said they "know better and better how cold cases can be solved," 

"Science shows that it works to hit witnesses and the perpetrator in the heart. With a personal call to share information. What better way to do that than to let Sedar and his family do the talking?"

Sedar Soares Sedar Soares was shot dead in the parking lot of the Slinge subway station in Rotterdam on Feb. 1, 2003, while he was throwing snowballs with friends. Youtube.