Mom And Baby Held Captive, Rescued After Facebook Status Update

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This is the second time in one week that I’m saying this, but thank god for Facebook! Last week, a Chicago man was arrested for child abuse after posting a photo of his young daughter bound and gagged. And now a Utah woman used the social networking site to send a distress signal after she and her 17-month-old son were held hostage for nearly five days.

Hiding in a closet with a laptop, the woman signed into Facebook and updated her status to say that she and her son would be “dead by morning” if they were not rescued, reports The Associated Press. The post prompted someone to call police, who went to check on the woman and her child.

Officers found the woman at her ex-boyfriend’s home and, when asked if she was okay, she simply shook her head “no.” The ordeal led to the arrest of 33-year-old Troy Reed Critchfield, who was charged with aggravated kidnapping, forcible sodomy, aggravated assault, domestic violence, child abuse and animal cruelty.

According to AP, the woman told police that she and her son had not been allowed to leave the home (she claims to have been physically assaulted any time she headed to a door). She said she had repeatedly been hit, choked and sexually abused for close to five days, and that Critchfield had also grabbed her son’s arms and treated him roughly.

As of Monday, Critchfield remained in the Salt Lake City County jail without bail. In 2010, he was convicted of a felony-level assault against the same woman and in February of this year, a judge ordered him to serve 120 days in jail and three years probation, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Luckily this woman was able to hide in the closet and access Facebook. I imagine it’s not the first thing anyone thinks of when in a life-threatening situation, but with no phone – Critchfield had allegedly taken it away from her – there were few options. It was smart thinking on her part, and I’m just so grateful that someone took her plea for help seriously. I would hate to think of the alternative.