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Last Updated : Jan 21, 2020 11:55 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Snapchat Map feature helps find kidnapped teen

The teenager notified her friends about the kidnapping via the app but did not know where she was. Her friends used Snapchat’s Map feature to figure out her location and called the country’s emergency service 911.


Snapchat's Map feature turned out to be a lifesaver for a 14-year-old who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by three men in California, United States.

The teenager notified her friends about the kidnapping via the app but did not know where she was. According to a statement from the San Jose Police Department, her friends used Snapchat’s Map feature to figure out her location and called the country’s emergency service 911.

For those who do not use the app, Snapchat’s Map facility shares the user’s location with their friends only when the app is in use. Location sharing can be customised and set as per the user’s liking.

Police found the girl in a motel room and caught 55-year old Albert Thomas Vasquez, as he was leaving the room, Buzzfeed News reported.


As per the police investigation, Vasquez met the girl in a nearby town and drugged her before forcing her into his car. Vasquez, then, called two others - Antonio Quirino Salvador (34), and Hediberto Gonzalez Avarenga (31), to help him kidnap the girl.

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The police further stated that Vasquez sexually assaulted the victim before driving her to the motel room, where he allegedly assaulted her again. 

Vasquez has been charged with multiple criminal offences including kidnapping to commit rape, digital penetration with a child under 14 years with force, false imprisonment, etc. The other two accused were arrested the next day and charged with kidnapping and conspiracy.

Snap Inc. told the publication that the Snap Map feature has been helpful for similar purposes before.

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First Published on Jan 21, 2020 11:54 am
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