A Facebook kidnapping attempt was thwarted by savvy parents who found that their 15-year-old daughter was having an inappropriate online relationship with a man twice her age.
After learning of the relationship, which began in April, parents forced their daughter to end talking to the man. However, the man didn’t know that.
Posing as their 15-year-old daughter, the Spokane, Washington parents continued communicating with the man through the Facebook dating application known as “Are You Interested,” where their daughter first encountered the man.
Her parents discovered in June that their daughter had met the man face-to-face in May. There they had begun to make plans to elope.
The plan would involve the girl running away from home. They also planned to go to extreme lengths to destroy evidence of their relationship and disappear, including changing the girl’s name and appearance.
Now posing as their daughter, the girl’s parents continued to talk to the man online and let the plans develop. Convinced he was still talking to the young girl, the man was urged by the parents into going through with his plan to come by the home and pick up their daughter.
Arriving at the home in the early hours of June 8, the man was told to meet the young girl in the alley out back.
Instead of finding his intended kidnap victim, the man was met by the the daughter’s father and several of his friends. They subdued him and alerted police, who came and arrested the man.
The man, identified as Jason D. Richards, a 30-year-old man, is now facing charges in Spokane of child rape and attempted kidnapping, arraignment set to begin Wednesday. His bond has been set at $100,000.
With the increased acceptance of internet social media it is important to remember that vigilance is still needed to protect the easily exploited and vulnerable among us: children.
Fortunately the parents of this 15-year-old were able to prevent a Facebook kidnapping attempt, turning it to their advantage to snare a dangerous individual.
[Image via ShutterStock]