An 11-year-old boy drives more than 200 miles to live with a stranger he met on Snapchat

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Relieved the boy is okay. Hope they find the predator culprit before he lures another child.


Shivered me right down to my bones.


Hope CPS is also looking at the boy’s home life. 11 year olds don’t decide to go live with someone else unless something is wrong at home.


I consider myself a pretty good dad, and I know there are times when my 11 y/o would bail on me for making her do chores.

200 miles though? I would have to be asking for a lot of chores before she got that pissed off.

However, once she had the keys and was on the road it becomes more of an adventure than a destination. How much gas was in the tank, or was the 11 y/o prudent enough to snatch some gas money first?


Yes, the adolescent mind isn’t always capable of objective judgment on their parents. And it’s possible the individual grooming and attempting to capture the 11 year old may have misrepresented what it’d be like to live with him. Bribery, lies, blackmail, and threats are frequently used to manipulate kids in these situations.


I’m stunned at the distance he drove without incident or accident at that age. When I was that age, even the kids who were into engines were perfectly happy being passengers in the car with no real ability to drive on the road. At age 16, we had to take driver’s ed with other students in the car. We took turns driving around in a parking lot, and most students were terrible - until they practiced for several weeks.


200 miles in 3 hours is pretty fast. Especially for an untrained, first-time driver.


Shirley they will looking to cell tower relay thingyies… whever

driving 200 miles in 3 hrs equals 66.66666667 miles an hours

I’ve never been 100% enthused about the prospect of self-driving cars.

Assuming that failsafes could have been defeated in such a car, this boy could easily have made it to his destination.

Oh yes, as I have recently discovered when trying to enforce simple limits (bed time, screen time, etc.) in our house with our teenage boy. Ye gods, you’d think I’d suggested I give him an appendectomy with a rusty spoon in the driveway, no anesthesia and no alternative. Sheeesh.

“Spirited” children are a real parenting challenge, and who knows what bizarre appealing promises the stranger made about a mythical upgrade to that kid’s living situation.

Wondering if he had some time on a decent simulator, some video game or app or whatever. I know kids in Texas who are driving a tractor by age 10–there’s one right down the road from me. If this boy is in a rural area, and has any experience behind any wheel, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to translate those skills to a car. That goes double if he was driving rural roads, where obstacles, traffic lights, other cars are few.


The kid has some weird driving talent. But the core of the story is scary as hell. Thank goodness the predator didn’t live closer.

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I’m suddenly grateful that our only car is a stick shift. I mean, my almost eleven year old has it pretty good, but I’m going to have nightmares about this story, I think.

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Baby Driver is born.

Must have been some mighty persuasive snapchattery to lure him out like that.

As I understand it Snapchat offers a Snapmap “feature” which, if enabled, shows the location of users.

It might not be the case here and the first reaction of parents with young and not so young children would/should be to make a mental note to discuss online safety. But from the brief article it is impossible to assume that this was a case of grooming.

Yes, at some point they’ll have to start putting in serious parental controls. The flipside is that for special needs adults, or the physically disabled, being able to drive to work or run errands was a serious limitation that limited their independence. Now all they have to be able to do is get into the car and talk or type something. Self-driving cars with monitoring capabilities has the potential to improve the quality of life for that population.


I drive my elderly mom, and sometimes other elderly neighbors, 1-2/week to the grocery store (closest is ~10 miles away), and sometimes to their various doctors’ appointments. I would love to be freed of that, at least the driving part.

I just spent about 3 hours yesterday at the Texas DMV with my funny old mom, having to get her processed for her driver’s license renewal. Ye gods was that unfun, and time out of my life I will never regain.

Even though my mom doesn’t drive much, I have asked her to keep her Texas driver’s license current because we’ve had previous wildfire-emergency mandatory evacuation orders: 20 minutes to get out of here. If I am at work (~18 miles away), I will not be able to get to her home and get her out in time. A self-driving car at the ready would also be a welcome option in that case, provided the power- and thus massively dependent communications grids stayed up during the evac so the navigation and controls on the car would work properly.

So yeah, I’m not 100% sold on the reality of self-driving cars. I have a few family members now who work in infosec / related fields and I have glimpsed some of their world. The grids are fragile even on a good day.

I am an amateur student of disasters, and the during and aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico teaches–reminds–me that without communications and power, grid or no grid, what most of us consider normal life is impossible. Not that I consider a young boy scarcely able to see over the dashboard of a car, with what I guess is no IRL driving experience, driving 200+ miles on a whim to be “normal” either.


Yes. Though I’m near a major city, and the roads shut down for no good reason if it snows, it rains, there’s an accident, there’s an accident in the opposite lane that people can see, or if someone in front of traffic sees their shadow and gets scared. Part of the monitoring would also have to be coordinated with weather and “don’t go driving anywhere near when a hurricane/blizzard/major snow is approaching”.

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I was driving various sorts of farm machinery by age 10. As soon as your legs are long enough to reach the clutch, you get put on a machine in our family. Heavy machinery is actually easier to learn than cars. Things happen a lot slower and you’re out in the open where there’s nothing much to hit. Overall the penalty for failure is a lot lower than driving a car in a city. It’s a great way to learn respect for machines and the basic skills that go with them.


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