A doctor who once faced child abuse allegations kept a staggeringly large collection of child pornography, found nearly a decade after his death, and investigators fear there could be hundreds of victims, authorities said Wednesday.

The owner of a West Hartford home formerly owned by Dr. George Reardon found the images — 50,000 35 mm slides and more than 100 8 mm movie reels — in a hidden storage space during a renovation project in May, town police said. West Hartford investigators announced the cache Wednesday as they set out to find the victims, saying identifying them could lead to others who possessed the images or were otherwise involved.

Investigators said there is evidence linking the images to Reardon, who they said had a state-of-the-art photo lab in his house, and they are concerned that the pornography was shared with others.

"We understand that this is an emotional issue for anyone who may have been exploited in these images," West Hartford Police Lt. Donald Melanson said.

At least 10 victims contacted police Wednesday, NBC affiliate WVIT-TV reported.

Police believe there may be hundreds of victims who ranged in age from about 6 to 15 when the pornography was made, mostly from the 1960s through the 1980s.

"One of the reasons we're releasing the information now, instead of May, is we have been working to organize the slides and coordinating our efforts with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to determine the best way to go about identifying the children in the photos," Melanson said.

Reardon, who was chief of endocrinology and practiced for more than 30 years at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, died in 1998.

He resigned in 1993 amid accusations that he took advantage of youngsters in his care dating to when he was a medical student in the 1950s.

"(Reardon) in the course of his medical practice took sexually explicit photographs of his minor patients and inappropriately manipulated body parts of his minor patients," according to a document from the New York state health department.

No criminal charges were filed because the crimes were too old to prosecute under the statute of limitations, the Hartford Courant reported.

In a consent order signed with the state of Connecticut in 1995, Reardon was barred from practicing medicine. New York state officials revoked Reardon's medical license in 1997 based on the Connecticut allegations.