“Caught in the Net,” episode 4, dubbed “I Was Not Expected to be Found,” deals with the tragic story of Jaden Angela Mahlberg, who went missing with her friend on the evening of September 30, 2014.
Angie Mahlberg had Angela Mahlberg with her ex-husband. Following the divorce, Angie began dating Matt and moved in with him after getting pregnant with Angela’s sister. Matt Mclaren was a loving husband and cherished Angela like his own daughter. According to Angela’s family, Angela was a joyful and shy teenager hoping to have a successful career in the music industry. Angela was also an avid fan of social media and began developing an interest in older boys. Angie repeatedly discovered sexually explicit and otherwise improper content on her phone, which forced her to impose a strict limit on her phone use.
On the day of the disappearance, Angela had gone to meet her best friend, who also lived just a couple of hundred yards away from their house. Angela’s mom contacted her friend’s house to inquire about her whereabouts after she violated curfew and was shocked to hear that she and her friend had already left hours earlier. After going through Angela’s room, Angie noticed that her daughter had ditched her phone and also saw a note on her study table suggesting that she didn’t want to live with them anymore and thus had left.
The Search And Digital Breadcrumbs
Angie Mahlberg called the police and informed them of the missing girls. The police patrols were dispatched to search areas around the neighbourhood, including public parks, hotels, and others. Both of the missing girls have left their respective devices in their bedrooms to avoid being found. The girls also owned iPad Touches, devices that behave similarly to a cell phone. Though the device wasn’t built to exchange calls, it could send and receive text messages once connected to a wifi channel. But the iPad Touch was secured by a passcode, raising concerns among law enforcement about the contents hidden inside. Meanwhile, Matt was driving around the area, looking for any sign of the girls.
Detective Patrick O’Hara of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department was brought up to speed on the matter and was called to examine the gadgets discovered inside the girl’s room. During the examination of Angela’s phone, Detective Patrick failed to find anything suspicious or worrying. Detective Patrick used a forensic analysis tool to examine the girl’s computer and learned that the girl had been using a plethora of social media applications and was most active on Omegle. For the uninitiated, Omegle is a social media app that allows people to connect with strangers all around the world via video calls and messaging.
The fact that the girls were on Omegle was very concerning, given the anonymity of everyone using the website. The site instantly pairs you with a stranger, and the majority of the time, there is no profile name or email address associated with the users of the website. Detective Patrick managed to salvage some of the texts from the girl’s profiles, which revealed that they’d been talking with men way above their age and were willingly giving out their addresses, not realising the accompanying risk.
Many of the search efforts that had been conducted overnight had been exhausted without locating the girls, making the authorities consider the possibility that the girls had been taken advantage of by a stranger on the internet. The revelation that the girls have been using Omegle confirmed their worst fear: that their daughter has been talking to complete strangers. After breaking into the iPad Touch, the cops learned that the girls had been exchanging texts with someone just an hour before their parents reported them missing. The parents also contacted the media to display the pictures of the girls requesting anyone with any information to come forward. The sexually explicit texts led the authorities to a phone number owned by a middle-aged man named Casey Lee Chinn of Burnsville. Casey Lee Chinn was a sports coach employed at a local school in Burnsville.
‘Caught In The Net’ Episode 4: Ending – Did Police Manage To Track Down Casey Lee Chinn?
The cops wasted no time tracking Casey Lee Chinn’s cell phone location, but unfortunately, due to a low signal, instead of getting an exact location, they received a location ping within a four-mile radius. The radius of Casey’s cell phone ping included the airport, hotels, public parks, and giant malls, making it extremely difficult for the cops to locate him. Fortunately, the responding units managed to track Casey down to his residence. The police forcefully entered the house and were shocked to see that Casey had been hiding the girls in his attic.
Both families felt a great sense of relief upon hearing the news that the daughters had been rescued. As for Casey Chinn, he was arrested on the charge of abduction. In his defence, Casey revealed that he was approached by the girls asking him to save them from their abusive household, and he had just hidden them inside his home to keep them safe. The police also pulled up a search warrant for Casey’s home and found tissues, female underwear, and more. During the search, several digital devices were also located in Casey’s home, which contained explicit and inappropriate pictures of Casey and the girls. On the other hand, Casey has been playing the role of a good Samaritan, who was just helping the girls get away from their abusive parents, but in reality, he was just a paedophile, preying on little girls. However, Casey soon broke under pressure and revealed that he had picked up the girls outside their house and sneaked them inside his house through the attic door. Afterwards, he touched them inappropriately and forced them into intense sexual activities like bondage. The text messages salvaged from Casey’s phone also revealed that he had plans to record the video of the girls and share it with others on the internet.
Casey Lee Chin pleaded guilty to charges of criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. In this instance, the digital evidence was critical, and without it, the police would not have been able to find the girls for a long time.