In today’s world, most of us would agree on how people are dangerously addicted to various apps on their smartphones. However, one may never know when these apps might work in our favor and that too in difficult times. The same thing happened very recently with a US teen. The 14-year old, who was kidnapped by three men, used Snapchat to alert her friends. As a result, her kidnappers were tracked down by finding her exact location through the app and caught by the police.
According to the police, the 14-year old was picked up by three men on Tuesday. One of the kidnappers, identified as Albert Vasquez, is about 55 years of age. Shortly before kidnapping the teen, he met her and gave her drugs, which made the girl lose control over herself. Details are not known as to how exactly Vasquez managed to drug the girl. The main accused then reportedly called two other suspects who assisted him in kidnapping the teen. These two men have been identified as Antonio Salvador and Hediberto Avarenga.
The three men pushed the girl into a vehicle against her wishes. Vasquez then forced himself upon the girl inside the vehicle. Post which, the girl was taken to a motel in San Jose, in northern California, where Vasquez again raped her.
From the motel, the girl used Snapchat to let her friends know that she had been kidnapped. However, the girl was unsure about her exact location. Her friends were able to track down the location where the victim was being held with the help of Snapchat. Using these details, the girl’s friends gave a tip-off to the police after calling on 911.
The police reached the location provided by the victim’s friends. At around the same time, the police discovered that Vasquez was leaving the motel room after dumping the girl inside the room. Police immediately arrested Vasquez and his remaining two accomplices. Looks like police reached the motel exactly in the nick of time!
According to sources, the police have imposed multiple charges on Vasquez, including kidnapping with an intention to rape, digital penetration with a child under 14 years of age, and rape by intoxication or using a controlled substance.
The other two men, namely Salvador and Avarenga, are also in police custody. Police have imposed charges of kidnapping and conspiracy on these men. All these men were arrested on Wednesday.
For those who are unaware, Snapchat is an app used for social media and communication. People make use of this app to communicate with each other with the help of pictures and videos. Friends who exist on Snapchat would be able to share their location with each other. However, for this, the app should be open, say the developers who have made this app.
Thanks to the victim’s timely presence of mind, she was rescued from her perpetrators before they could do her more harm. As of now, there is no information on whether these arrested men have lawyers who are ready to fight for them.
This is not the first time that Snapchat has come to somebody’s rescue. Sometime in 2019, a 12-year old boy in Pittsburg had reported to the police that a girl living far away in Texas had posted a snap saying, “I wouldn’t be here tomorrow.”
Although the girl was unknown to him, this boy could not afford to ignore her message that she had posted indirectly through her picture. The boy immediately contacted the concerned authorities in East Texas and narrated everything to them.
Thankfully, without dismissing the report as childish, the required officials reached the said location and saved the girl on time by preventing her from committing suicide. The boy was contacted by the police and told that the girl was fine. It was a great relief for everyone, especially the boy.