Junior High Girls Receive Suspicious Messages From Stranger 11/28/12
CBS 7 News
November 27, 2012
Midland, TX –Random suspicious text and online messages to specifically Junior High girls are putting law enforcement, schools and parents on high alert.
Midland ISD officials say over the Thanksgiving break a large group of Junior High girls received texts and online messages from a person posing as a young girl new to the area.
Cindy Richardson saw her teenage daughter’s messages and at first glance they looked innocent.
“It looked like teenage stuff, like hey what are you doing and I’m bored,” she said.
But it was the end of the conversation that sparked her suspicion.
The person then asked for photos and wanted to arrange a meeting time and place.
“She wanted to meet up with them so that she could make friends because she is new town,” Richardson said.
That was a red flag for you?
“Definitely,” she said.
Junior high students who were also contacted say they do not know this person at all.
Most of them were solicited on a phone application called Instagram. The program allows users to share photos on their smart phones.
“A lot of them (students) are freaked out and will never do this again,” Richardson said.
Richardson says she and about a dozen other parents are meeting with members of The Homeland Security to exchange information.
“I found it really strange that a child would go through so much effort to get numbers and contact people to make friends,” Richardson said, “It just didn't sit right with us.”
MISD Chief of Operations Doctor Randy Baiza says they are not taking this lightly.
The school district sent junior high and freshman students home with a letter warning them of this online stranger.
“We are working with our MISD Police and with The Midland Police Department,” he said, “We want to make sure that our families and boys and girls are safe.”
But Richardson says its time parents take matters into their own hands and talk with their children.
“You don't talk to people that you don't know,” she said. “Even in a social aspect like Facebook and Instagram, apparently that’s how this person found these kids.”
She says this is a lesson for young students not talk to strangers, online or off.
If your student has text or online messages that fit these descriptions Midland Police urge you to call them at (432) 685-7167