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Girl kidnapped by man who she talked with in games including Roblox, police said – NBC New York | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

An 11-year-old girl in New Jersey was kidnapped by a man with whom she had interacted with while playing online video games like Roblox, according to law enforcement.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office said police in Wayne were called just before 7 a.m. on Sept. 10 regarding a missing child near the intersection of Route 46 and Old Turnpike Road.

Investigators believe the suspect, identified as Darius Matylewich, and the victim had been communicating on several different gaming platforms and sites, the prosecutor’s office confirmed to NBC New York. One such platform was Roblox, which allows players to create and play games created by other users.

A spokesperson for Roblox said that the suspect and victim did not initially meet or interact on Roblox. The pair may have started talking on another site or platform and continued talking while playing Roblox.

Soon after she was reported missing, the girl was found by police in Bear, Del., the prosecutor’s office said. Based on the investigation, police believe that the 27-year-old Matylewich brought the girl more than 130 miles away and across state lines, from Wayne to the Delaware town where he lives.

Matylewich was arrested the same day the girl was reported missing. He was extradited to New Jersey where he was charged with first-degree kidnapping and third-degree child endangerment. If convicted on the kidnapping charge alone, Matylewich faces between 10 and 30 years in prison.

Attorney information for Matylewich was not immediately clear. He faced a judge virtually from his jail cell on Monday, with a detention hearing postponed for Friday, Oct. 20.

The Roblox spokesperson said that they had not been contacted by law enforcement, but they had reached out to police themselves and offered assistance.

“We work tirelessly to prevent grooming on our platform and have a team of thousands of moderators who enforce a strict set of community standards on Roblox, including zero tolerance for sexual content of any kind,” the Roblox spokesperson said. “We also have a number of dedicated features designed to keep kids safe including filtering text chat on the platform to block inappropriate content or personal information and offering parental controls and features to limit or turn off chat. Users can also mute or block players that they come across in games and report inappropriate content or behavior using our Report Abuse system.”

Anyone with additional information about this incident or other incidents regarding Matylewich is asked to contact us on our tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO.

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