Iowa girl, 17, arrested for using parody website to try and rent a hitman to kill 7-year-old child
The girl reportedly provided the seven-year-old’s name on the website, mentioned where the child lived and could be found
A 17-year-old girl has been arrested in Iowa for allegedly attempting to hire a hitman to kill a seven-year-old child. The girl tried to hire a hitman using a bogus site called RentAHitman.com. She was unaware that the site was a parody, according to The Des Moines Register. She is now in custody.
The girl reportedly provided the seven-year-old’s name on the website, mentioned where the child lived and could be found. The website’s owner approached police, who later arrested her. Reportedly, an undercover officer posing as the supposed hitman contacted her.
According to KCCI, the girl is now facing a felony charge of solicitation to commit murder. Her name has been withheld as she is a minor.
Bob Innes, the owner of RentAHitman.com, is an IT programmer who coined the name of the site humorously to advertise a computer security company. The company was set up by him and his college friends.
The company website says, “It's common knowledge that the Dark & Deep webs are not safe marketplaces for carrying out nefarious deeds. These sites are often fraught with potential risks, including viruses, and fraud is rampant. There's no guarantee of privacy, and your information could be leaked to less than reputable websites, including law enforcement agencies, and that's no fun!”
It adds, “The good news is that RENT-A-HITMAN is a safe and secure option that's easily accessible on the World Wide Web. We place great importance on maintaining the confidentiality of our clients and ensuring their privacy is protected under HIPPA, the Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964.”
The company, however, never took off. Innes eventually forgot about it, only to later discover that criminals-in-the-making have been using the site to try to hire hitmen, or become one themselves.
Innes then began using the website to turn over to police requests that came across as suspicious. This is how the 17-year-old girl was nabbed.
"There's a lot of beneficial information that can be shared to tell adults and children that the internet is certainly not a safe place," Innes told PEOPLE last year. "There are bad people out there."