The Coffee County Sheriff's Office issued a warning for parents about a cyber predator who is targeting young girls on social media.
Investigators said the man has contacted several children within the county. The messages sent to the girls are described by the sheriff's office as crude, sexual, and threatening. The person has also sent lewd photos, investigators said.
The sheriff's office has encouraged parents to pay close attention to their child's cell phone. Investigators recommended, if possible, that parents suspend their child's use of social media until the man is caught.
Making the case even more frustrating for investigators, the man has posted to the Coffee County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.
In one post he said, "I like girls only, my favorite ages are 12, 13, and 14, plus I could like younger/older girls, too." The post goes on to say, "The girls who I want to kidnap they study in Coffee County Middle School and they are in eighth grade." The man goes on to name two girls whom he claims attend the school.
According to District Attorney Craig Northcott, they now believe the same suspect is sending lewd messages to young female students across Coffee County.
Northcott said, "These communications are sexually explicit, highly inappropriate, and threatening."
Also in the message, the person claims he will kidnap some of the students to have a sexual relationship with them.
Northcott said, "That definitely elevated the investigation and how we reacted to it. We are trying to increase law enforcement presence as well as broaden our investigation as far as agencies involved."
Federal agents are helping local authorities build a case. If a child received a message, call police immediately.
Northcott said, "Some of these things that happen, minutes can make a difference in what we can get as far as evidence. So don't wait."
The suspect has used dozens of names and aliases.
Northcott said, "One thing we forget about is in gaming that there are chat rooms and platforms inside a video games and predators use that as well so we need to be diligent as parents in monitoring that as well we often forget that."
The cyber creeper could be using Facebook and Snapchat.
Northcott said nothing is off limits.
Northcott said, "These type of people, it's not so much about sexual gratification as it is control."
So until the predator is caught, they're asking parents to suspend their children's social media and gaming accounts.
Northcott said, "Shut it down. Don't let your kids have access to it right now."
At this point, investigators were unclear whether the man actually lives in Tennessee.
The Coffee County Sheriff's Office asked any parents who have concerns to call Investigator Kelly Smith at (931) 570-4425. Anyone receiving threatening or sexually explicit messages should send them to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org.