SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Police say 13-year-old girl who disappeared from her home in Roosevelt and was found several days later was communicating with the 25-year-old suspect from Florida, Chris Evans, for a month using something called Oculus.
Oculus is a virtual reality world from Meta, the owner of Facebook. It allows users to play games and chat with people. Participants are seen as ‘avatars’ which lets people create their own characters.
“It’s easier thereby to trick another person into thinking that they’re chatting with someone, when they’re actually chatting with someone completely different from what they would expect,” said Richard Piatt with the Utah Attorney General’s office.
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This means that child predators can pretend to look like and be someone they’re not.
“Meta/Facebook has been working with us to try to combat this problem,” Piatt said.
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“And they have a very active program where they will notify us if they notice any kind of suspicious activity.”