Teens, moms speak out on Facebook challenge daring kids to go missing

Teens, moms speak out about new Facebook challenge

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - "Total fear. I don't even want to imagine it."

That's what one Poplar Bluff mother has to say about a new online challenge that is making parents' worse nightmare come true.

The "Game of 72" dares kids to go missing for days without telling anyone where they went. It's something Heartland teenagers say is all the talk among their peers. Now, they're speaking out about this scary and dangerous trend.

"Basically it's like when two or three kids get together in a group and they run away and they try and hide," Emma Steffan, 13, said.

Steffan knows all about the newest Facebook challenge.

"It's all over Facebook basically, a lot of my friends are sharing it," Steffan said.

In the Game of 72, kids go missing without leaving a trace.

Thirteen-year-olds Elizabeth Lamb and Breona Treat say they knew about the challenge before their parents did.

"Yeah we had seen about it and then they started talking about it," Treat said.

The teens say it's hard for parents to stay ahead of these so called Facebook games.

"I actually googled, 72 hour challenge and it pulled up a whole list of things kids are doing," Angie Treat, Breona's mom, said.

Police say there are no known reports of kids playing this game here in the Heartland.

According to reports online, authorities were alerted to the game after a 13-year-old girl from northern France went missing for three days.

While some call the game a hoax, this mother said even the possibility is too much to ignore.

"That's not ok on any level. That would just make me a nervous wreck to even think about that she was even thinking about doing it, let alone actually following through with it," Treat said.

Treat said from what she's read, kids pull off the stunt through Facebook in secret so that even afterwards the game couldn't be tracked.

"She was deleting the messages and logging right back out," Treat said.

Now, she's encouraging all parents to talk to their kids about how serious the game really is.

"Your parents would be worried about you because you're gone for three days," Breona said.

"My parents love me so much and if I did this, it would scare the living poo out of them, you know, it'd scare them really, really bad and, you know, I just couldn't do that to my parents," Steffan said.

A detective said while there have been several missing child cases recently in the Poplar Bluff area, they have no reason to believe this challenge had anything to do with it.

However, they say if your child is missing and you suspect this game could have something to do with it, you must report that as well. If you don't, you could be held civilly liable for restitution.

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