Family fears predator used video game messaging app to target child, boy found safe

Family fears predator used video game messaging app to target child, boy found safe

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — UPDATE 12:57  The missing boy has been found safe according to the Olive Branch Police Department.

An Olive Branch family is desperate to find their missing teenager.

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The teen was reported missing by family from his home in Olive Branch around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Police said he was last seen Tuesday around 11:30 p.m. His sister said she told him goodnight, and when the family awoke on Wednesday, he was nowhere to be found.

The boy's sister went into his room and noticed the window was wide open.

“First thing running through my mind is somebody convinced him to leave,” the father said. “I don’t know who."

The father said his 14-year-old son spends his days playing video games in his room. On Tuesday night, he was nowhere to be found and his family knew something horrible was happening.

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“He took $100, cellphone, cell phone charger, backpack and a portable hard drive,” the father said.

Police told the family he may be out with a friend, but the boy’s parents later found out he was using a videogaming messaging app called “Discord.”

“That’s where he’s meeting people,” the father said. “The first thing that comes to my head is he’s not on his phone for 30 hours. He’s talking to somebody on Discord, and they took his phone away when they got him.”

The family started researching the gamer chat app and they were horrified.

“The only thing I do know from everything I’ve heard is that there are a lot of predators on the site,” the father said. “That’s my biggest concern, the children and my son.”

The teen is a history buff. He starts his first year of high school on Monday.

His family is begging for his return and staying hopeful.

“Death is not as hard as this because with death, you know where he is,” the father said. “I don’t know where he is. I don’t know what’s happening to him. I’m 100 percent helpless.”