A teenage girl from the U.S. used Snapchat to notify her friends that she had been kidnapped. Pixabay

Snapchat may just be another superficial messaging app for some, but for one 14-year-old girl, it’s her life saver. Last week, a teenage girl from California who had been drugged, kidnapped, and sexually abused was able to call for rescue by using Snapchat to notify her friends about her abduction.

According to the police, the girl alerted her friends via Snapchat on Jan. 14 that some three unknown men were holding her against her will and that she did not know where she was. Her friends immediately used the app’s location service to identify her location, which they later found to be at a motel in San Jose, somewhere in northern California. The victim’s friends then called 911 and asked the police to go to the motel to rescue their friend and arrest the suspects.

The police arrived at the motel at around 11 a.m. that same day and found the missing teenage girl inside one of the rooms. When they arrived, one of the suspects, Thomas Vasquez, was in the act of exiting the room. The police immediately arrested Vasquez and two other suspects, Antonio Quirino Salvador, 34, and Hediberto Gonzalez Avarenga, 31.

The police report revealed that Vasquez had met the victim in Capitola earlier that day and gave her drugs, knocking her out. After drugging the victim, he called Salvador and Avarenga to help him put the teen into his vehicle. Inside the car, Vasquez sexually assaulted the teen before taking her to the motel, where he and the two other men raped her again.

The police charged Vasquez with felony counts, which includes kidnapping, digital penetration of a child under 14 years with force, false imprisonment and rape by intoxication charges. He is currently being held without bail at the Main Jail in San Jose.

Meanwhile, the two other suspects, Salvador and Varenga, were also arrested and charged with kidnapping and conspiracy. Salvador is being held at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas on $150,000 bail, while it remains unclear where Avarenge is being held.

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