Police arrest kidnapping suspect in Arizona
Claremont Police Department officers were called to a residence on January 11 after they were alerted to a report of a “critical missing person.”
A family member of the missing person said that the victim had met the suspect on social media and had allegedly been coerced into leaving home with the suspect in the middle of the night.
“Based on the victim’s social media chat, the family believed the unknown suspect was going to take the victim out of the state,” Lieutenant David Hardin wrote in a news release.
Through their investigation police said the victim had been kidnapped, and they were able to identify the suspect’s vehicle, which was tracked to Arizona.
“With the assistance of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the suspect vehicle was located and the victim was safely located,” read the release. “The suspect was arrested and is currently being held in custody in Arizona.”
Police caution that the alleged kidnapping is an example of the potential dangers related to children using social media. Some tips for better safety include setting ground rules for social media use; discussing the importance of keeping information private, such as names, date of birth, where you live and go to school; avoiding “oversharing” your child’s life on your social media; never approving friend requests or adding people you don’t know in real life. They also caution children and adults to beware of “catfishing” or fake profiles; turn off locations when tagging posts or posting photos; and advise children and teens to never arrange to meet someone they met online.