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A Kidnapped Teen Was Rescued After Using Snapchat To Tell Her Friends Where To Find Her

Police arrested three men in connection with the kidnapping and assault of the 14-year-old girl.

Posted on January 18, 2020, at 11:37 a.m. ET

San Jose Police Department

From left: Albert Thomas Vasquez, Antonio Quirino Salvador, Hediberto Gonzalez Avarenga

A California teen who had been kidnapped by three men was rescued after she used Snapchat to help her friends find her, police said.

The 14-year-old girl was found Tuesday after using Snapchat to tell her friends she'd been kidnapped and didn't know where she was, the San Jose Police Department said in a press release. The girl's friends used the app to pinpoint her location, then called 911, leading police to the E-Z 8 Motel in San Jose.

Officers found the girl inside a motel room and arrested a man, 55-year-old Albert Thomas Vasquez, who was seen leaving the room.

The San Jose Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Police said Vasquez met the teen girl in the nearby city of Capitola that same day, where he gave her drugs until she was incapacitated. Then, police said, Vasquez called Antonio Quirino Salvador, 34, and Hediberto Gonzalez Avarenga, 31, to help him kidnap the girl.

The three men forced the girl into a car where, police said, Vasquez sexually assaulted her. They then drove to the E-Z 8 Motel and carried the girl into a room on the second floor of a motel, where Vasquez allegedly assaulted the teenager again.

Vasquez has been charged with kidnapping to commit rape, digital penetration with a child under 14 years with force, false imprisonment, lewd act with a child 14 or 15 years with force, and rape by intoxication or controlled substance, police said.

Salvador and Avarenga were arrested the following day and charged with kidnapping and conspiracy.

A Snapchat spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the company has seen the Snap Map used for similar purposes before. Snapchat has stated that a user's Snap Map location can be shared with friends of their choosing, and only updates when the app is open.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.