A 6-year-old Missouri boy has been taken from his home and placed in the custody of child welfare services after enduring a four-hour staged kidnapping, orchestrated by his own family members to teach him a lesson about being “too nice” to strangers, police said Thursday.
CNN reports the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office arrested the boy’s mother, aunt, grandmother and a 23-year-old coworker of the aunt named Nathan Firoved in connection with the alleged plot.
A news release from the sheriff’s office said the suspects told authorities “their primary intent was to educate the victim and felt they did nothing wrong.”
Police allege the boy’s mother, 25-year-old Elizabeth Hupp, conspired with his 58-year-old grandmother, Rose Brewer, and his aunt, Denise Kroutil, 38, to have Firoved scare the child by luring him into his truck near the boy’s bus stop Monday afternoon.
Police said once Firoved had the boy in the truck, he showed the child a gun and told him we would never “see his mommy again” and that he would be “nailed to the wall of a shed.”
Firoved then allegedly tied the boy up and placed a jacket over his head when the child started to cry. He was eventually taken, while blindfolded, into the basement of a family member’s home where Kroutil pulled down his pants and told him that he might be sold into “sex slavery,” according to police.
“The victim remained in the basement for some time before he was unbound and told to go upstairs, where the victim's family lectured him about stranger danger,” the police statement said.
NBC News reports police questioned the suspects in the alleged kidnapping plot Wednesday after school officials, having heard about the ordeal from the boy, reported the incident to the sheriff’s office.
All four were charged Thursday with felony kidnapping and child abuse. Firoved, Brewer and Kroutil were also charged with felonious restraint.
All four suspects were reported to be in custody Thursday, being held on $250,000 bail.
The victim was last reported to be in protective custody.