New Jersey girl, 11, is kidnapped by man she met through online video game Roblox and taken more than 130 miles across state lines as her family launched frantic search
- An 11-year-old girl from New Jersey was kidnapped and taken across state lines
- The minor spoke to the man on multiple gaming platforms, including Roblox
- If found guilty, he could face 30 years in prison
An underage New Jersey girl was kidnapped and taken across state lines after talking to a 27-year-old Delaware man through online gaming platforms.
The 11-year-old girl was reported missing at 6.45 am on September 10 in Wayne and was later found in Bear, Delaware.
Police say Darius Matylewich took the girl from her hometown after chatting on multiple gaming platforms, including Robolox.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office charged Matylewich with kidnapping in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child in the third degree. He could be jailed for 30 years if found guilty.
An unidentified 11-year-old girl from Wayne, New Jersey was kidnapped and taken across state lines by a 27-year-old Darius Matylewich to Bear, Delaware
The city of Bear, Delaware is about two to three hours away from Wayne, New Jersey
The attorney information for the accused is not clear. He faced a judge virtually from his jail cell with a detention hearing postponed for October 20
He was arrested the same day the girl was reported missing. Matylewich was extradited to New Jersey and held at the Bergen County Jail last week.
Matylewich faced a judge from his jail cell with a detention hearing postponed for October 20.
In a Twitter (formerly X) post, The Wayne Police Department wrote: ‘At approximately 6.45 am on September 10, 2023, members of the Wayne Police Department responded to the area of U.S. Route 46 and Old Turnpike Road in Wayne, New Jersey on a report of a missing 11-year-old child.
‘The Wayne Police Department located the victim soon after she was reported missing in Bear, Delaware.
‘Based on the investigation, police determine that Darius Matylewich had met the victim while playing an online video game and transported her from Wayne, New Jersey, to Bear, Delaware, without the knowledge or consent of her parents.’
The city of Bear is about 130 miles away from Wayne, a journey which takes about two hours by car.
Parents in Wayne are now on high alert and urging others to take safety precautions around allowing kids access to chat rooms through online games.
One parent told NBC6: ‘She [her daughter] plays Robolox all the time, they’re addicted. Normally, I try to make sure that the chat are off and normally I try to be on top of it and controlling.
‘But just to make sure of it, I’m aware of what’s going on.’
Soon after news broke, a Roblox spokesperson said that they had not been contacted by law enforcement but they had reached out to the police themselves and offered assistance.
Investigation showed that she spoke to him on multiple gaming platforms, including Robolox
Seltzer advised parents to monitor their child’s online activities and who they talk to
They told NBC New York: ‘We work tirelessly to prevent grooming on our platform and have a team of thousands of moderators who enforce a strict set of community standards on Roblox, including zero tolerance for sexual content of any kind.
‘We also have a number of dedicated features designed to keep kids safe including filtering text chat on the platform to block inappropriate content or personal information and offering parental controls and features to limit or turn off chat.
‘Users can also mute or block players that they come across in games and report inappropriate content or behavior using our Report Abuse system.’
Cyber security expert and attorney David Seltzer also told the channel: ‘Trust only goes far when the other person at the end of the line is not someone you can trust and their only goal is to trick your child into getting to that car.’
Seltzer advised parents to monitor their child’s online activities and who they talk to.