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13-year-old's abduction and murder raises concerns about new social app
November 8, 2016
Instant messenger website Kik is at the forefront of the disappearance and murder of 13-year-old Nicole Madison Lovell of Blackburg, Virginia.
According to a story in the Washington Post, David Eisenhauer, an 18-year-old freshman engineering major at Virginia Tech University, has been charged with first-degree murder in Lovell's death.
Kik is a particularly dangerous app because it lets users remain anonymous, allows users to search for other members based on their age, and lets photos not stored on a phone to be sent, according to the Washington Post.
"Unfortunately we see it every day," Fairfax Police Department child exploitation unit head James Bacon told the Post. "Kik became the latest thing. It's attractive to predators because of its anonymity. You can make a Kik account and you can make yourself out to be anyone you want to be."
Neighbor Stacy Snider told Richmond.com that Lovell was a kind-hearted child. "She was a lovely little girl, very caring, very loving, and she wouldn't hurt anybody," Snider said. "She was just friendly with everybody."
According to the Richmond.com story, some of Lovell's friends went to parents and police about the girl having told them of an older boyfriend she had, with Kik and Facebook post as evidence.
Another Virginia Tech student, 19-year-old Natalie Keepers, has been charged with helping Eisenhauer dispose of the girl's body.