Desoto authorities warn of internet dangers

By Fred Childers – bio|email

MANSFIELD, LA (KSLA) –  The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force wants to arm parents with knowledge.

"These predators absolutely groom these people," said Bossier City Marshal, Johnny Wyatt who launched the task force several years ago.

The purpose of teaching parents is help them keep computer savvy predators and predators who use cell phones away from their kids.

"They can give you a fake name, fake age, and you don't know who it is," said Desoto Parish Sheriff, Rodney Arbuckle.

12 year old Justin Bloxoms body was recently found in the woods, after Desoto Parish Sheriffs Office investigators say he was lured into a taxi cab by the driver, Brian Horn. They say Horn was using text messages.

"You know it never happens to us, that's what all the communities say,well it happened to us," said Arbuckle.

Justin's mom, Amy Bloxom attended the meeting.

"I'm so amazed she can be in this room, I'm amazed," said Wyatt.

"She's got other children coming up, and I'm sure she's interested in fining out what she can do to protect those children also," said Arbuckle.

Bloxom's case serves as a reminder to the parents in this community that it can happen in your home, and his murder has prompted a lot of parents here to come to this meeting tonight to gather as much information as possible.

"I just wanted to see how they get it, because I know other kids have face book pages, I just wanted to know what all is out there," said Jeanne Smith, a mother of four.

The task force knows what's out there, and how to protect your kids from it.

"In most cases if the parent monitors the phones, checks the internet, see who they're talking to, throw the computer where everybody can see what's going on, they got a better chance," said Wyatt.

Today's meeting was one of four meetings scheduled in Desoto parish.