A high school teenager is taken from a mall in Austin, Texas. Will she be found or tken?
|“Not this time Dad, you will not tell me what to do anymore!” I yelled at my Dad.
I left for school minutes later in my new Pontiac. I had no idea why my Dad was making such a big deal about me coming home late from Ian’s house. I was eighteen now and was considered an adult, right? It was fall in Austin, Texas and everyone was out and about. Since I was not allowed to create accounts on social sites when I was younger, I now could create accounts on every site I wanted to use. I created accounts on big websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. All of which I made private to the public which would mean I had to accept or deny friend requests. As I typed “Westlake High School” in my bio on Instagram, I then picked out my favorite picture of myself. My blonde hair was curled and my blue eyes stood out from the mascara applied earlier that morning. I loved it and thought it was a great picture of me. Seconds later I finished setting up my account, I received a friend request from a guy I had never seen, Greg Lewis. Even though I do not know him, I wanted to accept the request, and did just that.
As I was getting familiar with the site, I posted tons of pictures of me, my friends, and my family. At the end of my first day of the creation of my profile, I had already accepted one hundred friend requests and requested to follow seventy five. I knew the majority of the people that were following me and also all of the people I followed. I noticed just then that Greg liked all of my pictures. Although I wish that I had a smart phone to access these new sites, using my computer was just fine. A day later, on October 24th, I noticed that my webcam was on. I knew for a fact that I did not use my webcam that day, but did not think anything of it. Then when I arrived home from school, I realized that the webcam was still on. Suddenly, websites pop up onto the screen such as Google, Instagram, and Facebook. Again, I did not think anything of it, and proceeded to do my homework that I started.
I started to get thirsty while working on my senior project. I was not going to thirst myself even though I had to get the assignment finished, so I went to the refrigerator to pour myself a big glass of sweet tea. I also was getting hungry looking at all of the food in the refrigerator, so decided to grab an apple as well. I came back to work on my senior project to realize that “I see you” is typed on the Microsoft Word document that I had been typing. It is not typed normally, but in big, red letters with a creepy looking font. All of a sudden, I noticed that my webcam was flashing on and off. Websites that I had not clicked were also popping up. I cautiously delete the words off of the screen, closed all tabs that popped up, and decided to shut my laptop down to see if that resolved the problem. Well, that solution turned out to be no different than the computer remaining to be on. I was freaked out and so scared because when all of this occurred, I was home alone. As I thrown my half eaten apple across the room, I carefully left my house while dialing my best friend Emma Kendrick’s phone number. She answered and said that it was okay to come over until my parents got home from work. I finally arrived at Emma’s house ten minutes after we hung up the phone. Here at Emma’s I should have felt safer because I would be with other people and would tell her the whole situation that just happened.
When getting out of the car to Emma’s house, I shut my driver side door, locking my car and running inside. Before I got in, I heard a noise coming from my car. It sounding a knock, but I knew I was just scaring myself and that was a slim chance to none that it was a knock. My windows tinted in my new Pontiac, I could not see the inside of my car from outside. I decided to be brave and open my driver side door to check out my car to see if I could hear the noise. I thought to myself that nothing could be in my car considering that I drove ten minutes and heard no sound at all. I finally opened the door to see a man in my back seat. He did not look familiar and was pointing a gun at me telling me to get into the car now. I now knew that the situation I was in was a serious one. The older man demanded me to drive to an unknown building, which I did. Before pulling out of Emma’s driveway, I let out the loud, screeching noise of my car horn to see her look out of her bedroom window confused. Emma was a smart girl and I knew she would get the hint or the signal that something was wrong.
A day later, on October 25th, Greg forces me to go grocery shopping with him. He forces me to act like his daughter. This meant that I had to call him dad and he would call me by my name. Greg made me drive to the unknown building, the same spot as last time, but this time holing a knife in his hand. I did exactly what he told me to do, hoping and praying that someone would find me before he told me to do something inappropriate. I parked my car on the street and continue to follow all of Greg’s instructions. All I had in that basement was a small vent that I could see up. It seemed to be under a window so I counted the days that it went from light to dark. Greg had me chained up by both of my feet. The chains were only about two feet long, so it was basically impossible to escape. I hear Greg watching television from the noise echoing in the vent, and I hear that a search party has been sent out to look for me. It has been two days that I counted of being locked up. In Texas, a missing person file can be issued within a day last seen.
I finally got what I had hoped for, people looking for me. I did not know how far I had driven from Emma’s house to the place I was at, but it had not been too far. I heard a knock in the door above, which then led to a big thud upstairs.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”
Is that the quote that I thought of it to be? I hear footsteps above me, not sounding like just one person, but multiple. I then hear “all clear” and knew that I was thinking right. I finally heard the basement door open and see policemen and the FBI spot me. I never knew how much I would enjoy seeing cops and the FBI right in front of me, but this time, it meant the world to me. They cut the chains with bolt cutters, and I was free. I was scared and satisfied at the same time, but I was yet again free. Two policemen walk me outside where I see my mom, dad, Emma, and Ian waiting to see if the search was a success or a failure. It was my car that gave it away; nobody in town had one that looked like mine. I run to my family, friend, and boyfriend to give them the biggest hug. Although I wanted to never let go, I had to answer FBI questions and give them detail by detail what happened.
I could not have been more relived that I was out of Greg’s house. I should have taken my parents seriously and understood why they did not want me having social networking accounts, but will now understand and be cautious about being online and dealing with strangers. Looking back now, I would have never made those accounts if I could redo this whole thing.
My advice for others? Do not make accounts on social websites, but if you do, make them private always. Do not ever post anything that reveals too much about you. Understand where your parents are coming from when they are trying to protect you. Last but not least, never accept or talk to any strangers, because if you do, a lot of things can happen.