The 13-year-old Amber Alert, issued by Layton on Tuesday night, was found safe in Nebraska early Wednesday morning.
A gas station attendant in Grand Island, Nebraska, noticed something suspicious about a car and people at the gas station around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, according to police. Old Tadashi Kojima.
Kojima uses several names. He has also been identified as Aaron Zeman and Hunter Fox.
The 13-year-old boy is in good condition and police are working to reunite him with his family in Layton on Wednesday. Police said the suspect and the victim exchanged messages in an online game.
Experts now warn about the risks that exist in online games.
Layton Police Department Lieutenant Travis Lyman said it wasn’t always cell phones that could present a risk among children, adolescents and adults.
With so much technology demanding our attention, experts have boiled it down to two key components that can help protect your family.
The first key element is communication.
Susan Kennedy, director of community engagement at The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said that children who have experienced some form of exploitation online go to adults to share what is happening in their lives online. He says he often resists.
There are also concerns that sharing will lead to those devices being taken away.
“In many cases, the person whose child is harming him or her online knows it and does or says something to isolate that child and say, ‘You’re going to cause trouble. Or, at times, it threatens to cause harm and children feel they have to deal with it themselves,” Kennedy said.
A second element of parental safety measures, Kennedy said, is to be on the same social platform, play the games your child is playing, and see how they use them.
In this Amber Alert case, a family member of a 13-year-old contacted the police and handed over their son’s device, saying it was annoying after finding messages exchanged between a stranger and their son via a “Roblox” game. Did.
Engaging with children and seeing them through their eyes can be a game-changer for parents to get to know their children better, Kennedy said.
“The best way to do that is to jump in and play with them,” Kennedy said. Whether they’re listening to the chat, who’s reaching out to them, how they’re talking, or conversing with your child.
It may seem like a small step, but it’s heading towards a big conversation.
“Sadly, this kind of communication, like grooming and seduction, is more common than you might think,” Lyman said.
It’s not just a conversation “now”, its impact can last for years to come.
Richard Piatt, communications director for the Utah Attorney General’s Office, said the implications of these circumstances could be complex.
“The criminal justice system can punish people to the extent it can, but the point is that victims still suffer. There are many children who are affected by the disease and it continues throughout their lives,” Piatt said.
Layton Police said these incidents do happen but rarely escalate to the point where someone is tempted to leave their home and move out with another person like this.
The suspect in the case will be charged in Utah, officials say. Additionally, given the crossing of state lines, police said the suspect could face federal charges.
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