ANDERSON, S.C. -- There’s not a parent in the world that doesn’t have some concern about who their children talk to, especially when they’re teenagers.
When a Southaven couple noticed their daughter missing, they turned detective and helped rescue her from what police call a dangerous situation.
Their 13-year-old daughter was later found in South Carolina with a registered sex offender. She was with 40-year-old Bobby Allen Osborne, who has several sexually related offenses on his record according to the sex offender database.
There’s almost nothing Katie Vesco doesn’t know about her daughter’s whereabouts.
”I go all through her stuff. I know all her passwords, her Facebook, I can log in anytime.”
And it’s just that same kind of vigilance Southaven police say helped rescue the 13-year-old from a 40-year-old sex offender.
Her parents reported her as a runaway, then learned the awful truth.
She’d been talking to a boy, who she thought was around 18, online.
”Her parents did a great job of monitoring, getting information on her computer,” Southaven Police Chief Tom Long said.
That alerted Southaven Police, who went to work on the case.
”We were able, with the help of several organizations, Verizon wireless, to establish where she might be.”
They learned Osborne had taken the girl all the way from her home in Southaven to South Carolina.
Numerous agencies worked together to find the girl who was taken into protective custody.
Police believe Osborne drove from South Carolina to Southaven to pick up the teen.
Osborne is being held and is awaiting extradition to Mississippi on a kidnapping warrant.
Police credit involved parents in finding the girl, and Katie Vesco says you can’t snoop too much.
”She was smart enough to bring me her phone when it happened to her. I’m not gonna let this happen again, heck no!”
Osborne could face life in prison if convicted on charges in Mississippi, but the district attorney says he’s considering letting the United States Attorney charge him with a federal crime, which gets even more jail time.