GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Superintendent of the Grand Island Central School District is warning parents to keep an eye on their children’s online activity.
In a letter to families announcing that missing middle schooler Hailey Williams had been found, Dr. Brian Graham encouraged parents to contemplate the access their kids have to social media and internet chat forums. Williams, 13, is believed to have been lured away from her home overnight after having conversations with someone who identified their self as “Dale.”
She was later was found safe in Pennsylvania after being reported missing to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday morning. One person has been taken into custody.
“We are very proud of the multiple law enforcement agencies who shared resources, expertise and experience in the incredible effort to locate her,” Dr. Graham said.
But it’s not just social media sites that parents need to be concerned about, the school leader says, but video game-based platforms, too.
“We should all be aware that meeting strangers online or while playing on Xbox and Playstation should be considered just as dangerous as meeting and conversing with strangers in person,” Dr. Graham said in his letter.
Since she was located, Williams’ family was put in contact with Pennsylvania State Police to pick her up. No charges related to this have been announced, but News 4 spoke with former FBI Special Agent in Charge Bernie Tolbert, who said it’s a felony to kidnap someone and take them across state lines.
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