Snapchat comes to the rescue of kidnapped teenage girl in Capitola

The girl was drugged and taken to a motel in San Jose

A 14-year-old girl was rescued from her kidnappers after she posted a message on Snapchat sharing her location last Tuesday. The quick thinking on the girl's part led her friends to call the police and submit her location for them to find her in captivity.

The girl met one of the suspects in Capitola, a city in Santa Cruz County, California, and was abducted 40 miles from that location. While in the trunk of the car the girl used the social media app Snapchat to share her location to her friends requesting them to help her.

The unidentified girl was drugged and taken by three men. One of the men sexually assaulted her twice while she was incapacitated.

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Chilling message but precise location

Investigators said the girl was drugged with PCP, a mind-altering drug, and taken to a motel in San Jose with intent to cause harm.

She used her Snapchat in her disoriented state pleading: "Somebody help me. I'm in a random man's car ... I am not in Santa Cruz. Where am I?"

A cyber security expert from the San Jose State University said that the location service provided by the social media app is precise and can even locate a person inside a room. The police arrived at the motel and arrested Albert Thomas Vasquez as he was leaving the premises. He is being charged with kidnapping to commit rape, false imprisonment and rape by intoxication or a controlled substance.

Two other suspects, Antonio Quirino Salvador and Hediberto Gonzalez Avarenga, were also arrested the next day and charged with kidnapping and conspiracy.

The police said Vasquez drugged the girl when he met her in Capitola and sought assistance from Salvador and Avarenga to take the girl to the motel after she was incapacitated. Police said that the girl was placed in the car against her will and taken to the motel. Along the way it was Vasquez who assaulted her.

The suspects have been placed in the Santa Clara County jail.

This article was first published on January 19, 2020