BEACH PARK, Ill. — A Beach Park man is facing charges for kidnapping three Ohio children after communicating with them through online platform for weeks.
Michael Negron, 19, is being charged with a count of kidnapping and three counts of child endangerment, according to the lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. It is still unclear what the intentions of Negron were.
According to police reports, a parent from Middleton, Ohio called the Lake County Sherrif’s Office Saturday afternoon about their missing children, a 12 and 14-year-old girl and their friend, a 15-year-old boy.
The parent informed the police of their child’s tracked phone being located near the 10600 block of West Yorkhouse Road in Beach Park. Police said one of the children also texted their parent a description of the car and the police was able to locate it.
Lake County police located Negron as the man driving a ford mustang which matched the description of the vehicle seen in Middleton, Ohio. The car was found with the three children at a gas station near Lewis Avenue and Wadsworth Road.
Negron had allegedly been communicating with the children for weeks via online platforms such as Snapchat, Fortnite and more.
Negron drove to the Middleton area Wednesday and stayed in a hotel. He allegedly interreacted with the children several times while he was in Middelton and departed with them Friday to Beach Park.
The Lake County Sherrif’s Office released a statement from Sheriff John D. Ideleburg:
“It is an unfortunate reality, but there are predators among us who prey on children. Many of these predators use social media applications to initially meet a child and build trust with them. After that trust is built, they convince the child to meet. It is incredibly important to look at your children’s electronics to see what applications they are using, who they are communicating with, and what they are saying. I am so proud of my staff for working together to quickly locate and rescue these children.”
Negron remails in custody and his initial court hearing was Sunday morning. WGN is actively following this case.