The Safe Surfin’ Foundation recently produced another Public Service Announcement warning young teenagers on the dangers of the Internet. Danielle courageously told her story on how she was abducted by a child predator and then forced to remain with him for three days before police rescue.
“All of these stories Safe Surfin’ have produced as PSA’s are tremendously difficult to record. Danielle’s testimony was emotionally heartbreaking for the entire crew but demonstrated her deepest desire to educate her peers,” Sheriff Mike Brown said about the production.
Danielle,15, was last seen near her her home in rural Virginia. The last contact her family had with her before being abducted was noticing her walking down her driveway talking on her cell phone. On that particular walk, Danielle was met at the end of the driveway by Edward Bracken and Regina Powell who forced her into a pick-up truck at knife point. She was abducted and held hostage until police rescued her in Pittsburgh, PA.
Danielle’s story is a bit different. Sheriff Brown explains, “This was not a typical online abduction that we see so often with child predators. This abduction occurred by the use of cell phone and the new technology allowing kids to chat via these new smart phones.” Danielle was actually talking to her assailant the night she disappeared walking to the end of her driveway.
Danielle had been texting and chatting with whom she believed to be a 16 year-old boy through her cell phone for several weeks. She felt the relationship was innocent and frequently chatted via her phone to the boy about normal teenage troubles. Edward Bracken, 38, was the man disguised as the boy that drove over 400 miles from his home in Pittsburgh to abduct her.
“We can’t just focus on Internet safety now. Technology is changing and child predators are always looking for new ways to hurt children,” Brown stated. Danielle’s story is a wake-up call for all parents to begin monitoring their children’s cell phone and stresses the importance of parental involvement.
“Danielle is lucky. And we are so proud of her and her family for sharing this terrible experience in order to educate more and more young people. We are thankful that Danielle wants to share her story,” Brown concluded.
Danielle Wade will become part of Safe Surfin’s Educational Program. Should you like to have Danielle visit you school, church or community group please Robin Sundquist.