A 14-year-old California girl who had been kidnapped by three men was found this week after using Snapchat to tell her friends she’d been kidnapped and didn’t know where she was, according to the San Jose Police Department.
In a press release, the department said the girl’s friends used the app to pinpoint her location, then called 911, leading police to an E-Z 8 Motel in San Jose. Officers found the girl inside a motel room and arrested 55-year-old Albert Thomas Vasquez, who was seen leaving the room.
According to Buzzfeed News, police said Vasquez met the teen girl in the nearby city of Capitola that same day, where he gave her drugs until she was incapacitated. Then, Vasquez called Antonio Quirino Salvador, 34, and Hediberto Gonzalez Avarenga, 31, to help him kidnap the girl.
The three men reportedly forced the girl into a car, where police said Vasquez sexually assaulted her. They then drove to the E-Z 8 Motel, carried the girl into a second-floor room, and Vasquez allegedly assaulted her again.
Vasquez has been charged with kidnapping to commit rape, digital penetration with a child under 14 years with force, false imprisonment, lewd act with a child 14 or 15 years with force, and rape by intoxication or controlled substance, police said. Salvador and Avarenga were arrested the following day and charged with kidnapping and conspiracy, according to the publication.
A Snapchat spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the Snap Map has been used in similar circumstances before and iterated that the user’s Snap Map location can be shared with friends of their choosing and only updates while the app is open.
Snapchat saving lives! Thank God she’s safe!