Teenage girl rescued from kidnappers after French police use Snapchat to find her

Two men in France have been arrested and charged with kidnapping and rape of a minor

Thomas Kingsley
Tuesday 18 January 2022 10:16
<p>A French police officer was hailed for her innovative use of the app in the case </p>

A French police officer was hailed for her innovative use of the app in the case

A French 14-year-old girl who was allegedly kidnapped and raped by two men has been rescued after police used the GPS on her phone’s Snapchat app to track her down.

The girl, who is not being named, was reportedly lured into an apartment by a man who offered to host her after she ran away from home last week in the Cabucelle district of Marseille in southern France.

The teenager said she was forced to smoke cannabis before the 26-year-old and another man, 64, allegedly took turns raping her and forcing her to perform sexual acts.

Police were alerted to the kidnapping by the girl’s parents on Friday morning when she sent messages over Instagram explaining she had been abducted and beaten but could not specify where she had been taken to.

The girl was asked to turn on her locations feature on Snapchat - which allows users to see where you are - and police were then able to track her address. Once officers found the apartment building, they began knocking on each of the doors until the teen texted “yes” to confirm they had the correct flat.

And as they stormed the apartment on Friday evening, officers reportedly discovered one of the suspects trying to delete evidence from his phone as he was taken into custody.

The two men were arrested and charged in Marseille’s prosecutor’s office on Sunday with the kidnapping and rape of a minor. They have said that the sex was consensual.

After assessment of the girl, it was found she had been under the influence of drugs and she was hospitalised for emergency treatment. She was later returned to her family.

After the arrest, a police officer at the Information and Command Centre in Marseille was praised for her innovative method of tracking down the victim.

“This rescue took place thanks to Snapchat, but above all took place thanks to the excellent idea of ​​the young assistant policewoman from the Information and Command Center (CIC), without whom nothing would have been possible," said Rudy Manna, department secretary of the Alliance union in the Bouches-du-Rhône region.

“Snapchat alone would not have allowed the arrest of these individuals,” he added.

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