Mt. Healthy police investigating crime after child connected with stranger on social media

Mt. Healthy police investigating crime after child connected with stranger on social media
(Source: KFDA)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Mt. Healthy police are warning parents to monitor their children’s access to social media after a crime occurred while a child connected with a stranger on video chat.

“Parents who are giving their kid access to these accounts aren’t also monitoring these accounts or monitoring the content that is being browsed on their children’s phones in the first place,” said Mt. Healthy officer Cynthia James.

James says her department has been seeing an increase in reports of online predators.

“We’ve been seeing a detrimental increase, to be honest,” said James.

She says they are currently investigating a case involving, “a very young minor that was using a cellphone to get access to social media accounts and different websites that pretty much let you connect and talk to complete strangers.”

While James can’t go into specifics about the case because it is an open investigation, she says a crime did happen when a stranger connected with a young child via video chat.

“It’s the seriousness of the crime at stake that’s our concern because I’m sure this isn’t the only situation that’s going on right now that’s like this. It’s just this is the only one that we’re aware of at the time,” says James.

“All you have to do is hang up the call, and you never know who you were talking,” says James, who notes this makes it difficult for investigators because who you were calling cannot be traced back.

So, James says, at the moment, they do not know who they are looking for.

Officers encourage parents to monitor their children’s social media and video chats and suggest they block certain networks that allow them to talk to strangers.

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