What's on your mind? This familiar question on Facebook's status update bar usually prompts mindless posting, but for one mother and her 17-month-old son, a status update may have saved their life.
The New York Daily News reports that a Utah woman, who had been held captive for days with her baby boy by her ex-boyfriend identified as Troy Reed Critchfield, 33, posted a plea for help on her Facebook status, which led to their rescue.
"Hello...is anyone out there? I am having a serious problem and me and (my son) will be dead by morning," she wrote.
The post was seen by Erica Carver, who the Daily News reports had never met the victim but whose husband knew her.
The Daily News reports Carver as saying "Her posts were never jokes. And I thought, 'This is Christmas and this has to be real!' I mean, even if it's not, you gotta follow through on it."
Watch the local news report:
According to the Associated Press, police reports state that when police arrived at Critchfield's home, he didn't immediately let him in and when the woman was asked if she was OK, she shook her head:
After police separated the couple, the woman told officers she and her child had not been allowed to leave the home and that she repeatedly had been hit, choked and sexually abused over a period of nearly five days. Jail records show the woman also claimed Critchfield had taken her cell phone and the phone of a disabled child also in the home.
She also told officers that Critchfield grabbed the boy's arms and treated him roughly, while also refusing to let her feed the family dog, jail papers state.
Last December, court records revealed that Critchfield plead guilty to felony aggravated assault and obstruction of justice charges related to domestic violence. AP reports that he was sentenced to five years in prison but the judge reduced punishment to 120 days in jail and three years on probation.
The Daily Mail reports Carver as saying she was glad something that is usually used for "gossip and stupid little cartoons" could help save someone's life.