Facebook Status Update Saves Woman, Child in Hostage Situation

A Utah woman held captive for five days used a Facebookstatus update to save her and her 17-month-old son from a grisly hostage situation.


The woman hid in a closet with a laptop and posted a message saying that she and her son would be “dead by morning” if no one came to their aid, Police Sgt. Jon Arnold told The Associated Press. A friend read the post and notified police, who came to her rescue on Saturday.

Police arrested Troy Reed Critchfield, 33, who was jailed Saturday while they investigate charges of aggravated kidnapping, child abuse, aggravated assault, forcible sodomy, domestic violence, animal cruelty and other charges.

According to the report, the woman told officers that Critchfield took her cellphone and another phone in the home that belonged to a disabled child. He also forcibly blocked her from opening the door.

The woman, who is unnamed in the report, had bruises, but refused medical treatment. She told police that Critchfield also treated her son roughly and refused to let her feed the family dog.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has been central to a hostage situation. In June, a man named Jason Valdez, also in Utah, updated his status on the social network during a 16-hour standoff with SWAT teams. Valdez eventually shot himself in the chest as officers swarmed the room. Valdez survived the incident and was sent to jail in July.

); ga('send', 'pageview');