Children and teenagers nowadays use social media and mobile phones almost constantly. The same is possibly valid for adults, although they have more control over privacy and their share online.

In underage kids, extensive use of connected devices poses a real threat to their well-being, social skills, and online safety. Parents are concerned their kids share personal information with strangers or expose themselves to sexual content.

Not just social media, online gaming also presents unique dangers because many users treat it as just another Internet-based communication platform. Children may interact with irresponsible individuals during playtime.

In 2018, two suspected sexual offenders were successfully apprehended for kidnapping a 14-year-old boy they contacted via an Xbox online gaming platform.

Starting from the interaction in the game, one of the suspects lured the boy to meet and have sex with her.

After the meeting, the boy didn’t know that he would be kidnapped and driven hundreds of miles away from home. Once reported missing, and the authorities acted quickly to rescue him.




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10 /10 Explicit Texts And Images

It is not immediately clear when the 14-year-old Pittsburg County, Oklahoma boy started to communicate with the alleged offender, but the series of events leading to the kidnapping happened in April 2018.

As the boy was playing, he was contacted by a 35-year-old, Kristen Aragon. The two then exchanged phone numbers when the conversation became sexual.

At some point, she asked the boy to send pictures of his genitals. He also told Aragon that he stayed home a lot and was lonely. Then they began discussing the possibility to meet.



YouTube

9 /10 Another Female Friend

On April 16, 2018, they agreed to meet. Aragon had said she lived just about 30 miles away from the boy. When she picked up the boy, a 29-year-old Melissa Goelz was in the car.

While driving back to Aragon’s home, she told the boy that she lived in Farmington, New Mexico, and would go him back there, about 13 hours of driving distance covering some 850 miles.

The boy had known nothing of that before the meeting. He also didn’t realize Aragon would bring a friend with her.






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8 /10 Reported Missing

The boy’s father reported him missing that same day. The detectives responding to the report were told that he spent a lot of time playing Xbox LIVE.

The games and controller were missing, but the console itself was still in the house. The parents made many calls to the boy; all went straight to voicemail.

One of the things to make the parents so sure the boy had been kidnapped was the situation’s peculiarity. In addition to the missing game controllers, he also didn’t have a lot of friends.

7 /10 Username: MikenKristeAragon

The only thing investigators had for the clue was the Xbox console. Following analysis, they managed to recover some usernames and messages.

Looking at the conversations list, one username stood out: MikenKristeAragon.

Remote monitoring of the boy’s cell phone revealed repeated calls on that day with a phone number linked to a Facebook page called “Kriste’s Chocolate Factory.”

Using that connection, police identified the phone number owner as Kristen Aragon, who ran a candy shop in Farmington, New Mexico. It turned out to be the only lead detectives needed.

6 /10 Interstate Detective Work

Oklahoma investigators informed the Farmington police about the findings. The latter devised a quick plan to capture the alleged offender in her own home.

When Aragon arrived along with Goelz and the boy in the early hours of April 17, the police had already waited for them in the driveway.

The two female suspects were apprehended without violence or much of a struggle. According to Andrea Anderson, an FBI agent in the investigation, local law enforcement used their resources to intercept a crime in progress.

Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association

5 /10 Sick Individuals

Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris referred to the arrestees as “sick individuals.”

According to the boy’s statement to police, Aragon and Goelz sexually assaulted him multiple times during the 13-hour drive from his home to Farmington.

When he told his attackers he wanted to go back to Oklahoma, they said he could only either go with them or be left naked on the side of the road.

They also told him that he would never come back home again. The specifics of the assaults were not immediately clear.

San Juan County Adult Detention Center

4 /10 Felony Kidnapping

On May 4, both Kristen Aragon and Melissa Goelz were charged with felony kidnapping. Aragon was also accused of a lewd or indecent proposal to a minor.

She is now looking at 30 years of imprisonment if convicted of kidnapping and sexual assault on an underage individual.

In contrast, Goelz can get up to 10 years prison term if found guilty of kidnapping and other charges about the case.

As the boy made a safe return to his home in Pittsburg County, the offenders were booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

San Juan County Adult Detention Center

3 /10 Motion To Dismiss

In a surprising but not at all unusual legal proceeding, Pittsburg County Special District Judge Mike Hogan granted the prosecution’s motion to dismiss the charges on June 27.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Self said the action had to be filed due to technical difficulties obtaining some evidence.

Without the motion, they risked losing the case instead. However, a motion for continuance had already been filed a day earlier.

Once the issues had been addressed, the case could proceed, and the prosecution could present more substantial evidence before the court.

2 /10 Case Dismissed

Court documents reveal that Goelz’s case was dismissed on August 27 by Associate District Judge James Bland in the Pittsburg County District Court in Oklahoma.

The judge believed Goelz’s testimony suggesting she had not known that the boy involuntarily took the trip with her and Aragon.

She thought he was willing to go because he wanted to run away from home in the first place.

Despite an argument from prosecutors claiming the parents had not given the boy permission to leave, Judge Bland determined the boy was of the age of consent to leave without asking permission from a parent.

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1 /10 Scheduled For Arraignment

On the other hand, charges against Aragon remain the same, including felony counts of kidnapping and indecent proposal to a minor.

According to court documents, she has been charged with solicitation for child pornography too. District court arraignment is scheduled for September 26.

Since the crime happened across the state border, involving law enforcement agencies from Oklahoma and New Mexico and the FBI, this possibility becomes a federal case.

With that in mind, the two women may also face federal charges even before the district court comes to any ruling. 

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