A twelve year old female minor is back home and safe with her family but the circumstances surrounding her disappearance is one for concern as it relates to preteens’ and teenagers’ usage of social media. The story starts out with the mother of the child filing a missing persons report at the Corozal Police station on Saturday.

According to the mother, at around eight that night her daughter was in the yard but she could not locate her shortly after and decided to go to the police. Police launched an investigation and soon enough she was located but what she told police is disturbing. Officer Commanding the Corozal Formation Superintendent Denis Arnold says she met with a teenager, another minor, after chatting with him on Facebook.

Screen_Shot_2015-09-07_at_7.55.36_PMDennis Arnold - Officer Commanding the Corozal Formation

“She was found I believe it was Sunday morning and whilst questioning her she explained that she meet this person on Facebook and she went with him, a sixteen year old and she was taken to the doctor for medical examination and she was carnally known, she was twelve and now we have the sixteen year old in custody hopefully to be charged.”

The situation is one Belizeans may hear happen frequently in countries like the US but the problem is just as real in Belize. However isolated the cases may seem, what is concerning is that there may be several cases that go unreported as parents may be oblivious to the situations. Superintendent Arnold pleads to parents to be more vigilant of their preteens and teens that have quick access to the internet these days.

Dennis Arnold - Officer Commanding the Corozal Formation

“This is the year of technology and yes parents should I believe advice and monitor their children whilst on the net, I know that you can get it on your phone and you can borrow your friends’ phone and you can get it on TV and you can get it on your computer right once you have the right hook up you can get basically anywhere right so I am not blaming the parents for this because this is the era of technology and most of the children they enjoy that luxury of internet surfing the net and other things so there should be careful if they can supervise them right with that technology because it could have been worst.”

The young girl, just 12 years old, has apparently just completed her primary education.

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