THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4)– A couple in Thornton lived through one of their worst fears after they caught strangers preying on their 9-year-old daughter. It happened while the girl was using the “Live.me” app on her iPad.
The parents, identified only as Venessa and Michael, say a new app took their daughter’s innocence away in the blink of an eye.
“I got a Facebook message from a guy who was a complete stranger,” Venessa said. “He said ‘Do you know that she has the app “Live.me”’ and I said, ‘Yes, I know that she has the app.’ He said, ‘There’s a video, it’s the second from the last video, you should go watch it.’”
Their daughter was streaming a live video while she played with arts and crafts.
As intimidating messages rolled in, the threats became more alarming.
“[The viewers said] they know where she lives, they’re going to hack her in to pieces, and they’re going to kill her family,” Michael said.
By the end of the hour-long video, Venessa says her daughters clothes came off.
“She would be like, ‘No, I’m not doing that.’ She kept reading the messages, and she’d be like, ‘Why do you want me to take my shirt off? No, I’m not doing that,’” Venessa said. “By the end of the video my daughter was naked.”
By the time the family found the video, it had more than 10,000 views.
The app is described as a broadcasting app, similar to Facebook Live.
“You make your live videos, and you get real time messages, so you’re communicating back and forth instantly,” Venessa said. “People are so hyped up on views, and likes, and online popularity, and the kids are getting sucked into it, too.”
Now, they have advice for other parents.
“If [your child has] the app delete it immediately,” Venessa said. “Check in on what they’re doing because we thought our daughter was making videos of her crafts and stuff. It turned into something completely different, and it happened just like that.”
Thornton police and the FBI have launched an investigation into the app.