A 14-year-old girl from Davidson County, North Carolina was kidnapped on February 11th. The victim had been using her school laptop to communicate with someone using various platforms. The man she was communicating with had also approached other underage girls from nearby Alamance County. These girls were able to help investigators identify the man as 38-year-old William Ice from Pennsylvania.
An Amber Alert was issued for the girl’s disappearance after Ice is said to have removed the girl from her home. If Ice had been grooming his victim for an extended period of time, I doubt this was an Elizabeth Smart-type of kidnapping. However, even if Ice just coaxed the victim from her home, it’s still kidnapping. As a matter of fact, an arrest warrant for first-degree kidnapping was issued by various law enforcement agencies.
Eight days later on the 19th, authorities finally caught up with Ice at a McDonald’s in Lonoke, Arkansas more than 750 miles away from the victim’s home. Lonoke Police officers instructed Ice to exit his car. Ice seemed to be following police orders before producing a gun and firing at police. One officer, Officer Cody Carpenter, was struck and seriously wounded.
An Arkansas State Trooper was nearby and began to pursue Ice while the victim was still in the car. Ice’s car struck a snow bank (is that ironic?) and the victim was able to escape the vehicle. By the time the Trooper had approached Ice’s vehicle, Ice had already suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ice later died at a Little Rock hospital. Thankfully, the victim was largely unharmed.
It’s hard not to see why Ice took the coward’s way out. Not only was he on the hook for a multi-state kidnapping, but he also had warrants out for his arrest in Pennsylvania for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. He also had charges pending in Ohio from a human trafficking sting.
The victim has been reunited with her family.
Considering that Ice was armed, this could have had a much different ending.
I wasn’t able to find what services Ice was using to communicate with his victim but since she was using a laptop it could have been Facebook, Discord, MeetMe, or possibly even Omegle. If they had been communicating by smartphone or tablet, there could have been an untold number of questionable platforms they could have used.
Parents of minors today can no longer afford to be unwilling to learn when it comes to today’s tech, social media, and messaging apps. My parents couldn’t figure out how to get the VCR to record one show while watching another let alone getting the clock to stop blinking 12:00. Today, we no longer have that luxury. You may trust your kids to act responsibly online, but can you trust the people your kids are talking to? As I’ve said many times before, if you allow your kids to have unsupervised access to their devices, you could be leaving a virtual window open to their bedrooms for predators to peer into.