In December of 2010, 18-year-old Alex Trowell of Idaho was on his way to visit his 12-year-old World of Warcraft girlfriend in New Mexico. Alerted by the girl’s mother, New Mexico police called Trowell and had him turn his car around.
Last week, Police in Nampa, Idaho arrested Trowell after discovering the girl with him in his parents’ home.
According to the US Attorney’s Office in Boise, Idaho, Trowell first met his victim in September of 2010 while playing Blizzard’s popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft. Trowell and the girl, then only 11 years old, began communicating via phone and text messaging. Eventually those text messages became sexual.
The girl and Trowell planned to meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in December, shortly after her 12th birthday. The girl’s mother contacted New Mexico police. The police contacted Trowell, and he turned around and drove back home without incident.
This is the point at which a daughter of mine would be forbidden from using any sort of communication device whatsoever. No phone. No internet. Nothing. That’s not what happened here.
Trowell and the girl allegedly continued to plan a meeting, only this time the girl would come to Trowell. According to reports, the man purchased a plane ticket for the girl in early April. Authorities say the plan was for the girl to live in an abandoned house next to Trowell, who suggested she leave a suicide note behind so no one would look for her when she was gone.
The girl arrived at the airport in Boise, Idaho, on April 20. During an overnight stay at Trowell’s parents’ home the two allegedly engaged in light kissing and fondling. On April 21, Trowell was arrested.
The quick response was due in part to the Nampa Police Department-developed Child Abduction Response Team (CART) plan.
Said police chief Bill Augsburger (via the Idaho-Press Tribune), “When the Nampa Police Department received information on the severity of this case and the risk to the victim, we activated our CART team and within a very short time of that team activation, we had the child safely away from the suspect in this case. We consider this a big victory and reinforcement that teams such as CART are needed to help rescue and protect kids.”
It’s a triumph for law enforcement, but a child still spent the night with an alleged predator. A predator that had been warned away from her months earlier. He had a warning. The New Mexico Police essentially gave him a chance to stop, and he didn’t.
At this point I’m just about done with warning parents to watch what their children are doing on the internet. If you have children, lock them in a box until they are 18.
Idaho teen accused of luring NM minor with video game [KOB Eyewitness News 4]