Lawyers investigating a fake Shawn Hornbeck on MySpace
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
Many of us wonder about Shawn Hornbeck's life in captivity. But now, someone's trying to take advantage of that curiosity, making him a victim again. Turns out someone's been posing as Shawn online, on MySpace, possibly even trying to lure young teenagers.
It's an issue that's drawn the attention of investigators, and has the Hornbeck family attorney speaking out against the imposter. Close family friends say Shawn hasn't been near a computer since his return home.
Meanwhile a young woman who thought she was communicating with Shawn on MySpace, says she feels betrayed by this recent turn of events. "His story touched me from the beginning and I just wanted to let him know what it meant to me, to speak with him as he tried to return to a normal life," the St. Louis woman whose identity we agreed to keep a secret told us.
She says she spent hours online talking to who she thought was Shawn Hornbeck. At first she was touched and flattered by the attention. A mother, in her early twenties, she says she just wanted to personally help the young boy who miraculously returned from the dead. "Once after I had just met him online, I asked him if he remembered me. He said yes. At the time, I didn't think anything of it. Now, I think it's creepy," she says.
She also says the imposter added her to his list of top MySpace friends, and wrote emotional messages to her. "In one he said "thanks for being a friend. Most people only care about the kidnapping and don't even give me a chance,"" she remembers.
Attorney Scott Sherman represents Shawn's parents - the Akers. He says they're outraged, and want you to know their son isn't talking to you or anyone else online.
They also hope no one uses Shawn's name to lure innocent teens. "What I saw was somebody pretending to be Shawn Hornbeck - asking for personal information, phone numbers, names, asking for dates. It was extremely disturbing, and people going to the site believed this was Shawn; young people - many young girls, and who knows what that person's up to?" Sherman says.
It's a lesson the imposter's former friend takes to heart. The Akers' family lawyer asked MySpace authorities to take the imposter's page down.