Facebook and Kidnapping: How the Social Network Helps and Harms

Having a child kidnapped is one of the worst experiences that a parent can face. You take extra precautions to ensure that your child is safe while at home, school or wherever they may be. But child predators aren’t solely stalking your children in the physical sense—they’re now using Facebook.

Child predators prey on the ignorance of young children, often filling their head with lies or pretending to be someone they’re not. The following are examples of Facebook’s role in kidnapping.

Kaylene Lewis

Kaylene Lewis is a 14-year-old girl who met a “boy” on Facebook. This “boy” however, turned out to be 35-year-old Jean Lyle Oliver. After having conversations on Facebook, Oliver convinced Lewis that they should meet, so he offered to pick her up. He then brought her to his home where he bound her in his basement. Lewis was able to eventually get a text message out to one of her friends who notified Lewis’ father. The police were called, Oliver was caught, and Lewis was lucky to return home to her family.

Ashleigh Hall

Ashleigh Hall was a regular 17-year-old girl who fell victim to the deceit of Peter Chapman. Chapman, a registered sex offender who had already done time in jail for prior sexual convictions, created a fake Facebook account pretending to be a young teenage boy. He befriended Hail through Facebook, built a relationship, and convinced her to meet him. Chapman had sent Hall a text posing as the boy saying that “my father will pick you up”, and once Hall was in the car, Chapman attacked bound, raped and murdered her.

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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/english106/4357227835/

Colombian Men

A criminal group in Columbia was arrested after they were caught choosing their kidnap victims through Facebook. The group would scour Facebook in search of wealthy men, then pose as attractive females in order to get the men to agree to meet them. The criminal group would then show up, drug the men, and call their families for ransom money.

Facebook Helps Mother Find Kidnapped Kids

Faustino Utrera left his wife 16 years ago, and kidnapped his two children, then 2 and 3 years old. In an attempt to still locate her children after all of these years, the mother scoured Facebook in hopes of finding her children. In 2010, her prayers were answered, as she found and connected with her daughter through Facebook. Once she spoke with her daughter through the social network, the mother contacted police, who had the father arrested.

Facebook has played a dual role when it comes to kidnapping. It has been the medium used for predators to find their victims, and it has been used as a tool to help parents find their kidnapped children. Many parents of kidnapped children reach out through social media as a way to spread their own type of Amber Alert and try to locate their children. In some cases, like the case of the California woman, social media can help reunite families. But in the case of other young children, Facebook provides predators with an easy way to target them, which could have a fatal ending.

This article about Facebook and kidnapping was prepared for you by the team at SEOMap, SEOmap is a group of SEO consultants who specialize in SEO and keyword strategy.

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