Twelve-year-old "Ben" approached Olivia Stribley on the popular
game "Minecraft." After she added him to her "friends" list, they exchanged
phone numbers and began texting.
They talked for weeks, chatting about hugs and kisses, and
being boyfriend and girlfriend. "Ben" tried to convince Olivia to send him nude
photos of herself, saying that he would send them as well. Olivia was
uncomfortable with the request, and her mother noticed her daughter's unease
and extreme possessiveness of her phone.
Stribley decided to do a little investigating and looked at
her daughter's messages after she had gone to sleep.
"When I saw the conversation about sending pictures, I
slammed the phone down, and it took me another hour to be able to read
everything on the phone," Stribley told WFAA.
She pretended to be her daughter, texting "Ben" and
convincing him to send nude photos of himself.
said, 'My mom's asleep. Send me a picture,'" Jessica Stribley told WFAA.
"He said, 'Well, if I take a picture of every inch of my body, will you do
the same?' And I said, 'Yes, but I'm running out of time.' He sent three within
Googled "Ben's" number and paid for a reverse number search. The number
belonged to a man living out of state, who was a white-collar professional, according
to his LinkedIn profile.
informed her ex-husband, Dallas police officer Steve Stribley, about their
daughter's close call. Steve was understandably disturbed by the
"In my career, I hunt people
down who do bad things," Steve Stribley told WFAA. "I'm very
aggressive and protective of people that are vulnerable, so I don't like the
idea that on a child's game — where you're just building blocks, and building
buildings, and things like that — that a grown man would try to reach out to a
The Stribleys have turned over
Olivia's phone to the police, who have permission to pretend to be Olivia and
continue to text "Ben." No arrests have been made, and the investigation is
Steve Stribley has put parental
controls on Olivia's games, and she is no longer allowed to play against real people. He is closely monitoring his daughter's online interactions, which is one of the suggestions of
cyber crime expert Tyler Cohen Wood.
"It really is the 'don't take candy from strangers,'
'don't go into some random stranger's car,' just in the cyber domain," Cohen Wood told WFAA. "The predators are finding new ways of getting to children. They're
just looking for new ways, because they think the parents are probably
monitoring social media, so I'm not going to use social media, but they're probably
not monitoring the game."