A West Virginia man suspected of raping a teenager was arrested after investigators tracked his location using a phone app and an alligator sign as a clue.
Coweta County, Georgia, authorities revealed that after the suspect allowed a 17-year-old female girl to use her smartphone after the alleged rape, she was able to tip them off to her whereabouts.
“Somewhere along there, their ride to Pennsylvania, they pulled off in Coweta County, and he rapes her at knife point, and we were able to confirm the incident happened inside Coweta County,” said Coweta County Sheriff’s Investigator Toby Nix, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.
Investigators told WSB-TV that the teenager met the 28-year-old man on Snapchat, and he agreed to drive her to another state. During the drive, he detoured to a reservoir area where the alleged rape occurred.
The report noted that the girl first shared her location with her boyfriend, who did a Google search of the coordinates to find an image of an alligator warning sign at B.T. Brown Reservoir Park. She confirmed that she had seen the sign near her location.
The girl also used an app called Noonlight to allow tracking of her location and to communicate her need for help.
“If you think there’s danger, you can manually trigger an alarm (using the button in our app for example),” the app’s developer explains. “We immediately receive the alarm and can send your location, along with other vital information about you and the alarm, to local police, fire, or EMS responders and get you the right help, right away.”
The alleged rapist was soon pulled over and arrested. The vehicle was later confirmed as being at the location of the attack through the use of surveillance video.
“The driver and passenger were separated and the female passenger told deputies that she was being held in the vehicle by the driver against her will,” Habersham County Sheriff’s Lt. Matthew Wurtz said.
The arrest occurred on September 6 when the man was taken into custody in Habersham County. He is expected to be moved to Coweta County for additional charges related to the incident, including rape, kidnapping, and possession of a knife during a crime.