Teen's Murder Raises Concerns Over Kik Messaging App
TULSA, Oklahoma - Investigators say a 13-year-old Virginia girl stabbed to death may have used a popular messaging app to talk with her accused killer.
Investigators say preliminary findings show she was likely stabbed to death by a man named David Eisenhauer. They believe the teen was talking to her accused killer, possibly on the messaging app, Kik.
The case highlights the potential dangers of dating and social media apps. Tulsa Police are familiar with this app and say millions of younger kids use the service - and predators do too.
Kik allows users to remain anonymous and send photos not saved on Smartphones.
Following Nicole's death, Kik released a guide for parents on its website. It also updated its app for both Android and iPhone, and had Apple raise its age-appropriate rating from "9 plus" to "12 plus."
This makes it to where no one under the age of 13 can download the app. "Kik Interactive" says 40 percent of its 200 million users are teens and young adults. In a message to law enforcement, "Kik" says it does not have access to users' conversations.
Tulsa police say they have investigating many cases of "sextortion" involving Kik. Predators encourage kids to send racy photos then exploit the children by threatening to reveal the images.
Police also warn there are hidden apps within the messaging app that haven't been put through the verification process and can't be disabled by a parent permanently, even if the parent has blocked the app purchases in Google Play or iTunes.
Experts say this is why it's important for parents to know exactly what their children are doing online.
Since Nicole's death, several parents have taken to social media urging each other to check their children's phones for the Kik app and delete it immediately.
One of the two Virginia Tech students accused in the death of Nicole Lovell is expected to be in court Thursday for her bond hearing. Natalie Keepers along with David Eisenhauer are charged in connection with the death her death.
To schedule a TPD cyber crimes detective to speak to a group about online dangers, call 918-591-4740.