Facebook Frees Kidnapped Woman from Home Invasion

Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook has received a great deal of criticism in the past for its inability to protect the privacy of its 700 or 800 million users. However, it was the site's very public approach to information sharing that recently helped save a woman and her child from a boyfriend, who invaded their home and held the pair hostage for five days.

According to reports, a Utah woman was able to use Facebook to seek help five days after she and her 17-month-old son were first taken hostage in their home.

Police said the woman was able to gain access to a laptop, hide in a closet, open her Facebook account, and then send out a desperate plea for assistance over the social networking site.

Police Arrive In Response To Facebook Alert

The woman posted a message on Facebook saying that if help didn't come soon she and her son would be "dead by morning." That was enough to alarm concerned friends, who contacted authorities within twenty minutes after her initial Facebook plea for help.

"Facebook was her only outlet that she had at the home," said police Sgt. Jon Arnold. "It just happened that she was able to use it." (Source: seattlepi.com)

Upon arriving at the woman's home, police found the woman bruised and bleeding, with 33-year-old Troy Reed Chritchfield in control.

According to the victim, who has not been named, Critchfield prevented her from leaving the home for the entire five day period. The woman also accused Chritchfield of repeatedly assaulting her and her child. It's even suggested that Chritchfield prevented the woman from feeding the family dog.

Police say they are holding the man pending investigation of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, domestic violence, child abuse, animal cruelty and a number of other offenses.

The accused has a long criminal history, including a five-year jail sentence for felony aggravated assault and obstruction of justice. However, the sentence for that conviction was reduced to 120 days with three years' probation.

Facebook Called a "Life Saver"

Neighbors of the victim are crediting Facebook with saving the woman from her attacker.

"I'm sure she considers it a life saver," said a friend of the victim. "It's another tool that's now available to people." (Source: abc4.com)

| Tags:
Rate this article: 
No votes yet