MWC Police Searching For Accused Child Predator
MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma - Midwest City police are now investigating a child pornography case involving a predator and a 10-year-old girl. They say he targeted her on two popular social media apps, LiveMe and Kik.
According to court documents, the suspect, who claimed he was 21-years-old and from New York, first threatened the victim on an app called LiveMe. He demanded nude pictures and videos.
The two communicated back and forth, but she later deleted LiveMe.
Court documents state that she then downloaded Kik, where the same person tracked her down and sent here threats under a different username. The man said he would hurt her family if she didn't cooperate.
Investigators note in the court documents that the victim's father was killed about two years ago.
Fearing for her family's safety, the victim sent the suspect pictures after he was in Oklahoma.
Court documents show that the suspect told her how to pose, and what kind of videos he wanted her to perform.
“Once they have that child hooked, and they get a hold of that child, they’re a sex object to ‘em. They’re not a person. They’re just an object,” Captain Adam Flowers, said an investigator for the Canadian County Sheriff’s Department.
The Midwest City Police Department has involved other agencies in this case, and they are working together to track down the suspect.
Law enforcement agencies say they see cases like this far too often.
Captain Flowers isn’t working this specific case, but he has been working cyber-crimes since 2011, and he advises parents to get involved.
Here's what you can do to help protect your children:
- Approve every app on your kid's phone
- Check privacy settings
- Talk with your kids about phone use, apps, and social media with your kid
- Find out what is popular in your region, different apps catch on in different locations
“Parents need to realize that when these apps are being used, this is somebody looking into your child’s personal life,” said Captain Flowers.
Here are the apps the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is warning against:
- BUMBLE is similar to the popular dating app "Tinder," however it requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to use Bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age.
- LIVE.ME is a live-streaming video app that uses geolocation to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster's exact location. Users can earn "coins" as a way to "pay" minors for photos.
- ASK.FM is known for cyber bullying. The app encourages users to allow anonymous people to ask them questions.
- SNAPCHAT is one of the most popular apps of 2018. While the app promises users can take a photo/video and it will disappear, recent features including "stories" allows users to view content for up to 24 hours. Snapchat also allows users to see your location.
- HOLLA is a self-proclaimed "addicting" video chat app that allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds. Reviewers say they have been confronted with racial slurs, explicit content and more.
- CALCULATOR% is only one of several secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.
- KIK allows anyone to contact and direct message to your child. Kids can bypass traditional text messaging features. KIK gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
- WHISPER is an anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user's location so people can meet up.
- HOT OR NOT encourages users to rate your profile, check out people in their area and chat with strangers. The goal of this app is to hook up.