Wednesday, September 08, 1999
Man stopped from fleeing with Internet girlfriend, 13
BY SUSAN VELA
The Cincinnati Enquirer
INDEPENDENCE A 13-year-old girl was safe at home Tuesday after police from throughout Greater Cincinnati and Louisville fought against the clock to retrieve her from a Texas man she met over the Internet.
Danny L. Marr, 21, of Houston, had a rope tied into a hangman's noose and several Bibles in his backpack when Louisville Police found him and the girl at a Greyhound bus station around 7:30 p.m. Monday.
It was four hours after he picked the girl up in a taxicab outside her Richardson Road home and 45 minutes before the two were to board a Texas-bound bus, police said.
The two had met through chat rooms about a month ago and their online relationship had taken on a romantic tone before Mr. Marr arrived on her doorstep around 3:30 p.m. Monday, Independence Police Lt. Shawn Butler said.
The unharmed girl went with Mr. Marr voluntarily, but became frightened and said she wanted to return to Independence 30 minutes into the taxicab ride, police said. Mr. Marr refused and, during the ride, confessed to witchcraft participation and revealed several self-inflicted cuts.
We were greatly concerned, Lt. Butler said. Time's your enemy in that situation. I don't know many people who carry a hangman's noose on their person. It's a scary situation. It could've been a harmful situation.
Mr. Marr is being held on $10,000 bond in the Jefferson County Jail (Louisville), where he faces a felony charge of custodial interference. He is expected to arrive at Kenton County Jail within the next week to be arraigned in Kenton District Court. If convicted, he will face a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Those involved in the case say Mr. Marr never would have been stopped if it weren't for Independence officers' quick thinking.
They arrived at the girl's home soon after 3:30 p.m. Monday, responding to a 911 missing person call. Her relatives said that a young man had knocked at their door and asked for the girl. He left after talking to her briefly. But family members later realized that she had sneaked away from the house and gotten into the cab with Mr. Marr.
Within minutes, a detective and several additional officers were on the case. They placed a tap on the phone and every police agency in the state was given a description of the girl. Within an hour, the department also had enlisted the aid of the Cincinnati and Louisville police departments, which kept an eye on their cities' bus stations.
The girl's friends told Independence police that she had communicated with Mr. Marr over the Internet, about 10 times within the last month. The friends said the girl knew Mr. Marr planned to arrive in Louisville by a bus that morning and that he planned to then take a cab to Independence.
The Greyhound bus company helped by providing schedules and destinations, and the Kenton Commonwealth Attorney's Office got an arrest warrant. The FBI also was also alerted.
Mr. Marr told investigators that he is homeless and was able to go online at a public library and meet the girl. But investigators said they find it suspicious that an allegedly homeless man was able to pay for the bus trip and a $250 round-trip cab ride.
Mr. Marr and the girl were aware of each other's ages, and the girl had no history of problems with her family. She left a note for her parents that she would call them and told them to take care of her pets while she was gone.
Independence police have confiscated the computer that the girl used to contact Mr. Marr and are continuing their investigation.
The case is a reminder that rural communities are as vulnerable as big cities when it comes to the downsides of the Internet, investigators said.
We want people to see this and be aware of what their children can be up to, Lt. Butler said. No one is immune from it. We're a rural community and it certainly has creeped up on us. We're trying to prepare ourselves for this type of crimes in the future. Obviously the future is now.
Just be very careful. It's the people that prey on children. ... They specifically target and prey on them.
He noted that Independence police have attended seminars and training sessions on Internet-related crimes. The need to do so was highlighted by three arrests early this summer stemming from a child pornography ring with ties to Northern Kentucky.
Independence police have been involved in a case that involved a computer and an arrest as far away as Albuquerque, N.M.
A lot of the training paid off yesterday, Lt. Butler said. People knew what to do. They knew where to look. They knew who to contact.
Fox should 'Get Real' about teen's 'sleepover'
Man stopped from fleeing with Internet girlfriend, 13
Riverfest drink ban a mistake, police say
Accidents leave 4 dead
Tobacco windfall spending proposed
Attorneys: Spare child killer because he was abused
Bookie's lawyer says scuffle 'overstated'
Cause of apartment complex fire not yet found
Cyclist critical after collision
Legislators tour Clifton elementary
Montgomery boy wins on 'Jeopardy!'
Scaffolding surrounds fountain
Shark feeding a hit on aquarium student tour
After a fall, doctors work on getting elderly patients back on their feet
How to reduce risk
Exercise can help prevent hip fractures
Prescription for drug confusion
Workshops teach stress-reduction
'Audio Syncrasies' gentle tribute to acoustic magic
GET TO IT
Ripley scene is Freedom Center award
Arrests up over holiday
City, schools dive in on pool
Cold Spring zoning request now on hold
Court may OK study of proposed sewer plant
Discipline cases down, city schools say
Disqualified candidate may run
Edgewood High's expansion finished - on paper
Former UC star a no-show in court
Job counseling is future of welfare
Ky. engineer to review deck crash
Norwood searching for schools chief again
Police check report of man with knife
Racial gap studied in youth detention
Soldier, postman, family man and now, a high school grad
Top court allows two on ballot
Tornado siren debate continues