Did you know the social media you indulge in can literally save your life? This was true for a 14-year-old girl in California who was kidnapped but found because she shared her location on Snapchat with her friends who contacted the authorities.
The victim, who remains anonymous, is said to have met with her kidnapper, Albert Thomas Vasquez, 55, in the nearby city of Capitola, according to Business Insider. In meeting with Vasquez, the teen was kidnapped and drugged and with the help of two other suspects, Antonio Quirino Salvador, 34, and Hedeiberto Gonzalez Avarenga, 31, Vasquez moved the victim’s body into their vehicle against her will. Shortly after this took place, it is reported that Vasquez sexually assault the 14-year-old in the vehicle as well as in the hotel that the men dragged her to.
Kidnapping is something that’s been occurring more frequently in the last few years. The Chicago Crusader has reported that according to FBI statistics, in 2016 there was a total of 242,295 people of color missing in the United States. Imagine how high that number is today. It’s definitely a scary time to be a woman in this country right now seeing so much kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder taking place with no justice being served.
Luckily in the 14-year-old victim’s case, her kidnappers were caught and booked in Santa Clara County Jail. Business Insider reports that Vasquez was charged with kidnapping to commit rape, digital penetration with a child under 14 with force, lewd acts with a child, false imprisonment, along with rape by intoxication or controlled substance. Salvador and Avarenga were both charged with kidnapping and conspiracy.
Many people only acknowledge the negatives of cell phone and social media use, but in this case, it was literally what saved a life.
By Cierra Lemott, Senior, Brooks College Prep
Instagram & Snapchat: @cece.kodak