Internet Prank Terrorizes Heartland Family - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Internet Prank Terrorizes Heartland Family

An intended prank, using the internet, ended up being a nightmare for the Ferrell family in Harrisburg, Illinois.

Their troubles began back in September when two classmates of their 15 year old daughter posted her phone number and other personal information on an adult porn web site. Ricky Ferrell -- the teen girls's father -- said he was the one who actually shut the web page down.

"I called Yahoo myself and got it taken off of the net," Ferrell said. " It wasn't a hah hah joke, this was a very serious thing. We have people turning around in the driveway all the time. Now we don't know if they're just turning around or watching the house," says Ferrell.

Ferrell says the whole thing came to light after they began receiving phone calls from all around the United States, and a late-night caller asked for his daughter. "It was a picture that looked like her. But thank God it wasn't her. But it had all the information, home address, the telephone all of it. That's how we found out he was in Texas, that's how he found out who she was and that's why he started calling," Ferrell said.

But the phone calls kept coming, and Ferrell says the men quite asking for his daughter, they would talk to anyone who answered the phone, except when he would get the call.

"Then we found out that our 9 year old son and 11 year old daughter have been talking to those freaks. They were asking them how old they were. And what they liked to do," Ferrell said.

"It's changed everything, the way we think, the way we act. We don't even got out, we just don't," says Ferrell.

Police have charged 17 year old Bryan Smothers with disturbing the peace. Another 16 year old boy is also charged. The two could be fined $50.00 dollars each.  But Ferrell says he's had to spend hundreds of dollars trying to ensure his families safety. "I've changed the locks again, I've changed the security system. We've had to spend plenty," Ferrell said. 

But Ferrell says it'll take more then money for them to feel safe again. "It does scare her. She's got to be extra careful. That Internet is one of the greatest things in the world. But it's also a loaded weapon, because it an hurt you and it can hurt your family," Ferrell said.

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