The FBI and the Covington County (Alabama) District Attorney’s office are on alert for someone who calls himself “Atur Bhuck” and is sending unsolicited packages to elementary school girls. More than 50 girls have received the packages that include food and letters in which “Atur” asks the girls to email him at one of two email address he provides them. It’s unknown how “Bhuck” knows what school the girls attend. The Washington Post reports that in the letter that is enclosed in each package, Atur Bhuck tells the recipient that he is 14-years-old, developmentally disabled and was bullied when he was younger.
When investigators traced the IP address for the email addresses provided in the letters from Atur, it led them not to Alabama, but to Houston. That email address was used to order the boxes that are being sent to the girls and to send the packages. There is an increasing concern and urgency to find the sender because of the fact that the same IP address that’s attached to the email addresses has also appeared on websites that talk about girls’ underwear. Bhuck has posted online saying that he has pen pals that live in Alabama. He asked people who viewed his posts what kind of music they recommend listening to with those pen pals.
The Ledger-Enquirer reports that the Covington County District Attorney’s Office posted an alert to their Facebook page to spread the word about the packages from Atur Bhuck. The superintendent of Phenix City Schools, one of the school districts where girls have received the packages from Bhuck, states that they notified parents in their district last week. He added that although packages addressed to two students in the district were received, they were not delivered to the addressees but instead were held for law enforcement’s use.
Officials have not released the names of any suspects but have asked that anyone whose child has been targeted by the Atur Bhuck mailings to contact them at 334-222-2513.
This case is being described as an example of what’s called technology-facilitated grooming in which perpetrators find victims online and use the internet and social media to learn as much about them as they can. They often engage them in online conversation to earn their trust and step by step build a closer relationship with their victim.