Social networking leads to arrest for kidnapping

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Michael Long

Ascension Parish Major Kevin Hanna reports the Sheriff’s Office was called to a Gonzales home on Thursday, July 5, 2012, at 2 am to investigate a juvenile runaway case.

A preliminary investigation identified the runaway as a 13 year old female.  Authorities discovered that the 13 year old left the home and left with an unknown male subject in a blue four door truck. The parents were alerted that their daughter was possibly headed out of state with an unidentified 40 year old man, Hanna said.

During the course of the investigation the Sheriff’s Office utilized a number of resources, including assistance from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, U. S. Marshal Service, FBI, Louisiana State Police. The investigation revealed the 13 year old received a call on her cell phone just before she ran away. That cell number was identified as belonging to a Michael Long. With limited information on Long, investigators began a process of elimination as they located a number of Michael Longs in their data base.     

And emergency order was obtained on the13 year olds cell phone which permitted the cell phone company to provide several key pieces of information. One piece of information confirmed the phone belonged to a Michael Long. A second piece of information revealed that the 13 year olds phone was shown to be in Baton Rouge area which gave the family and investigators hope that she was still local.  The cell phone company also supplied investigators with recent text messages that documented communication between the 13 year old and Long.

A Sheriff’s Offices forensic computer examiner had to break a password code to gain entry into the 13 year olds computer. Upon examining the computer it was discovered that the 13 year old posed as an adult and visited a number of adult dating sites and also entered “members” only sites where she had dialogue with members. The sites included explicit sexual activity in addition to dating services. At this point of the investigation the examiner is still attempting to identify where the 13 year old and Long had dialogue on the computer.

By mid afternoon of July 5 investigators narrowed their suspect list down to Michael Long of 4530 Sunny Brook Avenue Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Research revealed that Long was not a registered sex offender although he has a criminal history consisting of domestic abuse battery, 2nd degree battery, assault and resisting arrest. Unknown to Ascension Parish authorities, as they  was preparing to proceed to Longs Baton Rouge home the family received a call from a relative who had just convinced the 13 year old, by phone, to be picked up from the Sunny Brook home.

The 13 year old was transported to the Sheriff’s Office where she admitted to being picked up by Long and taken to his home in Baton Rouge. Ascension Parish investigators, assisted by East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, proceeded to the Sunny Brook home where Long was taken into custody.  He was transported to the Ascension Parish jail where he confessed to picking the 13 year old up and having consensual sex with her. He is currently in Ascension Parish jail and charged with 2nd degree kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Pending further investigation Long will face possible charges in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The 13 year old is currently in the St. James Youth Detention Center on a juvenile status offense of being ungovernable (runaway). Her fate will be determined pending a hearing in juvenile court.