Advocacy groups are reminding parents about the importance of monitoring their children's online activities after 16-year-old Indica Huddleston, a junior at Lone Peak High School, left a note stating that she was running away, leaving her parents concerned about the possibility of unsavory people luring their daughter away from home.
"I didn't know that she was talking to the kind of people that she was talking to," Andrea Huddleston said of her daughter. "I should've done a better job of monitoring that."
Huddleston said she and her daughter had a small disagreement about Indica's schooling, but it didn't seem like anything serious until they found the note on Aug. 15 saying she was running away.
"The part that worries me is she says, 'I'm fine; I'm being taken care of,'" Huddleston said. "That doesn't sound right to me. It sounds like someone is luring her away."
An August 19 Facebook post by Sierra Huddleston, Indica's sister, said, "It has been identified that many of the people she speaks with are adult men between the ages of 18-27 years old."
None of these men, the post said, are men the family knows or trusts.11 comments on this story
A Lone Peak detective working on the case said the note and other evidence suggests Indica is a runaway and is not in imminent danger, but they are following up on leads and trying to find her.
Evelyn Call of the Utah Children Protection Registry said online predators use the Internet to identify children who are vulnerable by looking for youths who may be having family conflicts, who don't have good relationships with their parents or who are looking for attention.
The best ways to protect kids is simply to talk to them, Call said.