14-year-old girl uses Snapchat to escape her kidnappers, California police say

Summer Lin

A 14-year-old girl has been rescued from her kidnappers after she used Snapchat to alert her friends, police say. Her friends tracked her location through the app and called the police.

San Jose police arrested Albert Thomas Vasquez at a motel on Jan. 14 for multiple charges including kidnapping to commit rape, rape by intoxication or controlled substance, and false imprisonment, according to a news release.

Antonio Quirino Salvador and Hediberto Gonzalez Avarenga were arrested for kidnapping and conspiracy on Jan. 15.

Police said that Vasquez drugged the girl and called Salvador and Avarenga for help. The three men put the girl in a car against her will, where Vasquez allegedly sexually assaulted her. Police said the men drove to a E-Z 8 Motel and carried the girl to a room on the second floor, and Vasquez sexually assaulted her again.

The girl told her friends through Snapchat that she had been kidnapped but that she didn’t know where she was, according to the SJPD release. Her friends found her location and called 911.

Friends on Snapchat can see each other’s location if the app is open and they’ve chosen to share locations with each other, according to the company website. The release didn’t specify if this was how the friends found the victim.

All three men were booked into the Santa Clara County Jail.