COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - "Theres a lot of benefits with the internet as everybody knows, but there is a dark side to it."
The families of 14-year-old Megan Morris and Tatiana Rosado saw that dark side first hand. The two teens vanished on Saturday and were found in Kentucky on Sunday. Officials said the teens were with a man Rosado met on the Internet, 22-year-old Ivan Coleman of Missouri. Sargeant Ken Baker, Supervisor of the Explotation Unit with the Collier County Sheriff's Office, said many times these situations can be prevented by parents talking to thei children.
"Just about any type of crime these days has a an Internet or computer component to it," said Sgt. Baker. "It's important the lines of communication are open so that they monitor what they're children are doing online."
A report from the Sheriff's Office said 15-year-old Rosado and Coleman met online more than a year ago. He first told her he was her age, then admitted he was seven years older. Deputies said Rosado told her mother, Coleman recently began to frighten her. Sgt. Baker said a parent's concerns should always be reported to officials.
"We've got a forensics lab right here with us so if we get any type of complaint, not only do we assign a detective to it, but if theres a computer or cell phone involved we can take custody of that piece of media and run forensics on it just to figure out what is going on."
There aer also websites and programs parents can download to monitor their children's Internet activity. But Sgt. Baker warns parents kids aren't just accessing rhe Internet from inside their home.