Police say the family of a Troy, Mo., six-year-old boy arranged for him to be kidnapped because he was “too nice” and needed to be taught “a terrorizing life lesson,” according to a statement from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
His aunt Denise Kroutil, 38, allegedly enlisted co-worker Nathan Wynn Firoved, 23, to “lure” the boy into his pickup truck after the youngster got off the school bus.
While in the vehicle, the man allegedly showed the boy a handgun and threatened to “nail him to a shed” and keep him away from his mother — all while binding the boy’s hands and feet with plastic bags to prevent him from seeing and escaping.
Per police, the six year old was then taken to the basement of a house where Kroutil allegedly took off his pants and said he would be sold into “sex slavery.”
The boy’s mother, Elizabeth Hupp, 25, and grandmother, Rose Brewer, 58, were in touch via cell phone during the approximately four-hour incident, according to police.
“Family members told investigators their primary intent was to educate the victim and felt they did nothing wrong,” the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
The four “kidnappers” were arrested and charged with felony kidnapping, felony abuse and child neglect.
- Who Will Be TIME's Person of the Year 2023?
- Why Cell Phone Reception Is Getting Worse
- The Dirty Secrets of Alternative Plastics
- Column: It's Time to Scrap the Abraham Accords
- Israeli Family Celebrates Release of Hostage Grandmother
- In a New Movie, Beyoncé Finds Freedom
- The Top 100 Photos of 2023
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time