Man Accused Of Kidnapping 11-Year-Old From New Jersey He Allegedly Met On Roblox Gaming
A man from Delaware, United States, has been arrested after kidnapping an 11-year-old child, who he allegedly met from Roblox. A press release by New Jersey prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes’s office, revealed that the man is Darius Matylewich, a 27-year-old man who has now been charged with first-degree kidnapping and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Details of the Investigation
Matylewich was arrested by the Wayne police department after he was located with the 11-year-old girl who had been reported missing. According to the prosecutor’s office, members of the Wayne Police Department responded to a call of a missing 11-year-old girl on 10th September 2023 around 6:45 A.M. The call was made near the Old Turnpike Road and U.S Route 46. A short while after being reported as a missing person, the girl was then located in Bear, Delaware which was nearly 140 miles away from the place where she was initially reported missing.
As investigations on the case progressed, authorities learned that Matylewich had been in contact with the girl through multiple online sites, one of them being Roblox. Sometime after he established contact with the child, he then transported her from Wayne, New Jersey to Bear, Delaware without the parent’s of the girl consent or knowledge. The accused was tracked down by authorities and arrested on 10th September near Berwick Lane and Perth Street in Bear, Delaware. He was then extradited to New Jersey and has been put in jail.
What is Roblox?
Roblox is an online gaming platform, that has been rising in popularity since the past few years. It is a gaming app that allows its players to play a wide variety of online games and even offers them the opportunity to create their own games. Besides just playing, Roblox also offers its users the chance to interact with others on the platform through in-game chats. In essence, it is a platform that combines gaming with social media and even social commerce. With over 52 million daily active users it is one of the most visited gaming social platforms. Over half of the userbase in Roblox are under the age of 13, which is indicative of how popular it is with kids.
Statement from Roblox Regarding the Case
After the internal investigation was done, it was found that Matylewich did not meet the victim through Roblox. However, a spokesperson from Roblox spoke to US news channel, Fox News, regarding the case. “While we have not been contacted by the authorities, we do take the safety and security, especially of our youngest users very seriously. We have reached out to the police and are offering our help in any way that we can.”
The spokesperson from Roblox has further stated that the company works “tirelessly to prevent grooming” on the online gaming platform. The company does this by employing thousands of moderators on the platform who have been tasked with monitoring and enforcing community standards on the platform. This includes the zero tolerance for sexual content of any kind whatsoever.
Apart from this, Roblox also has features that are specially designed to keep its young users safe. These features include, text filters to block out any content that is deemed to be inappropriate. It also ensures that there is no personal information that is being shared on the platform. It also offers parents the ability to limit or turn chat off when their kids play on the platform. Roblox also gives users the ability to mute or block players that they don’t want to interact with. There is also a feature to report the rude or inappropriate behavior on the site.
Given that Roblox is a platform with an average of 65.6 million users per day, as per their second quarter financial results, it is imperative that such measures are taken. In a world where online predators are unfortunately a common risk when it comes to any online social interactions, such precautionary measures are a necessity.
Verdict if Convicted
A prison sentence of up to 30 years is what will be waiting for Matylewich, if he’s found guilty and convicted of kidnapping. Only after 85% of the sentence is completed will the accused be eligible for parole. For the second charge of endangering the welfare of a child, he could be sentenced to anytime between three to five years in prison, if he’s convicted.
The law enforcement has asked people to come forward, if they have any information regarding the case or any other incidents involving Matylewich. Those with any information that could help the police in the case can contact the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office at 877-370-PCPO. It is believed that there is a possibility that Matylewich could allegedly be involved in other similar cases.