Suspect had befriended girl on Instagram
13-year-old girl is back home and a suspect is in custody after the girl was kidnapped by a man she befriended on Instagram.
At about 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, the juvenile went for a walk around her Platte County neighborhood. When she did not return home, her parents frantically searched their daughter’s phone for clues to her whereabouts.
According to court documents, the call log on the minor’s cell phone revealed the name and number of the last person she contacted. The minor’s parents, unfamiliar with the name or number, contacted the Platte County Sheriff’s Office for assistance.
When a sheriff’s deputy called the last person that the minor conversed with over the phone, the deputy reached a man who identified himself as ‘Alex’ before hanging up the phone.
The minor’s parents made a consecutive call to Alex and identified themselves as the minor’s mother and father. Shortly after the call ended, the parents received a text stating she was with Alex Zier and was not coming home.
Authorities traced Alexander Zier to his home, about four hours away in Kahoka, located in the far northeastern corner of Missouri.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office caught up with Zier at his residence with the girl.
Zier he was questioned about the alleged kidnapping. During his interview with police, Zier said he got to know the female through a dating site and began video chatting with her three to four times a week.
While acknowledging the female appears young, Zier told authorities he believed the girl was almost 19 years old.
Zier confessed to exchanging nude photos with the girl. When police asked him if they would find anything worrisome on his phone, Zier allegedly told police, “I am “f*****.”
“Alexander Lee Zier preyed upon this child, sought her out through social media, and won her trust” wrote a deputy with the Platte County Sheriff’s Office in a statement of probably cause.
The deputy added that Zier “arranged a meeting time, drove 3 hours and 52 minutes to the area of her residence, picked her up and then left with her.”
The Platte County Prosecutor’s Office charged Alexander Lee Zier, age 22, of Kahoka with a class A felony of child kidnapping.
Zier is in custody in the Platte County Jail, held on a bond of $150,000 cash only. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 9.