The film “Finding Faith” is a full-length narrative motion picture that features child advocate and celebrity Erik Estrada. The film, set to be released in early 2013, tells true stories and experiences from law enforcement officers with the Internet Crimes Against Children task force. The film is family friendly and a faith-based production in association with Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church.
The film has FOUR major objectives:
1. To use a compelling story on film to educate parents and children about Internet safety in a non-intimidating way.
2. To reveal the challenging work and accomplishments of Virginia’s law enforcement agencies as they relate to Internet crimes with specific attention to (ICAC) Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
3. For teens to have a comprehensive and realistic understanding of Internet safety.
4. Challenge teens to live dynamically and purposefully.
Based on Real Events
Finding Faith is inspired by a compilation of actual events that Sheriff Mike Brown has investigated through his Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Three victims, Danielle Wade, Amanda Staubs and Holly Austin Smith, were brave enough to come forward and tell their stories. In a recent Safe Surfin’ Foundation Public Service Announcement, one of the victims courageously told the story of how she was abducted by a child predator and how she remained captive for three days before being rescued by the police.
She was last seen near her home in rural Virginia. The last contact her family had with her was seeing her walk down their driveway talking on her cell phone. The victim was met at the end of the driveway by two people who forced her into a pick-up truck at knife point. She was abducted and held hostage until police rescued her in Pittsburgh, PA.
Michael Brown, Sheriff of Bedford County, Virginia, explains, “This abduction occurred through the use of a cell phone and the new technology allowing kids to chat via these new smart phones.” The victim had been texting and chatting for several weeks by cell phone with someone she believed to be a 16 year-old boy. She felt the relationship was innocent and frequently chatted with the boy about normal teenage troubles. But the person she was chatting with was not really 16; he was actually a 38-year old man who disguised himself as the boy. He and a female companion drove over 400 miles from his home in Pittsburgh to abduct their victim.
“We can’t just focus on Internet safety now. Technology is changing and child predators are always looking for new ways to hurt children,” Brown states. This story is a wake-up call for all parents to begin monitoring their children’s cell phones. The situation emphasizes the importance of parental involvement.
“This victim was one of the lucky ones, and we are so proud of her and her family for sharing this terrible experience in order to educate more and more young people. We are thankful that she wants to share her story,” Brown concludes.