CRF Blog

‘We Have Your Daughter’

by Bill Hayes

In ‘We Have Your Daughter,’ the Washington Post reports on a virtual kidnapping.

Mom always answers the phone.

She heard screaming. It sounded like her 23-year-old daughter’s voice, begging for help.

Then an unfamiliar voice announced, “We have your daughter.”

What followed next was five hours of hell.

Police call it a virtual kidnapping — an old scam that is having a renaissance across the country and particularly in the Washington region. The callers target affluent areas and find enough information online to make their ruse plausible.

Mueller, 59, had no idea that she was being played. She believed her daughter’s life was at stake and did everything she was instructed to do.

The kidnapper told Mueller to put her phone on speaker, get her purse and her phone charger, and get into the car.

“How much cash can you get right now?” he asked.

What is a daughter worth? Anything. Everything.

“$10,000,” she replied.

The voice — calm and eloquent with a faint accent but an Americanized command of the language — warned her not to try to get help from anyone. Otherwise, they would kill her daughter. [more]