Police link app to crimes involving children

The kidnapping and murder of a 13-year-old girl in Virginia is putting a spotlight on a mobile app police say connected the girl to her killers.

Kik is an anonymous messaging app. No phone number, no email is exchanged, just user names. Setting up an account Kik asks for an email address, but you can fake one.

It’s often used to chat with strangers. It allows users to exchange photos and videos that no one else can see and disappears from the sender’s phone.

Kik users can meet strangers there, or, as in many cases, they meet strangers somewhere else and move their conversation to the more private and anonymous Kik account.

In the past couple of weeks, police have linked the Kik app to at least five serious crimes involving children in the past two weeks including the murder of 13-year-old Nicole Madison Lovell, allegedly by two 19-year-old Virginia Tech Students.

And an incident in Alabama where a man attempted to check a 14 year old girl out of school. He was charged with statutory rape and attempted kidnapping.

Prompting the Blount County District Attorney to record this video message to parents.

The developers of Kik claim the app is used 240 million people and about 40 percent of America’s young people.

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