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      Police arrest online enticement suspect

      Mark Alan Stephenson, 29

      UPDATE: On Thursday, Mark Stephenson, 29, of New Cambria, Missouri, was officially charged with one felony count of attempted enticement of a child.

      The suspect is being held in the Adair County Jail on $100,000 cash-only bond.


      A northeast Missouri man is in trouble with the law after investigators say he misbehaved on Facebook.

      Mark Alan Stephenson, 29, of New Cambria, Mo. is being held in the Adair County Detention Facility with charges pending for attempted online enticement.

      On Nov. 25, Kirksville Police were informed that Stephenson was attempting to entice minor children via Facebook.

      After receiving the report, police officers posed as a local 13-year-old female and were able to establish contact with Stephenson via Facebook.

      During an online conversation with Stephenson, he reportedly made statements about various sex acts to the 13-year-old and furnished a pornographic photo to her.

      Wednesday, Stephenson advised the 13-year-old he was in Kirksville and wanted to meet at her home while her mother was away.

      Police established surveillance on the area in which Stephenson advised he was waiting for the 13-year-old and later took Stephenson into custody.

      This incident was investigated by the Kirksville Regional Computer Crimes Unit of the Kirksville Police Department.The Kirksville Police Department reminds residents that Kirksville is not immune to incidents like this, and with the continual evolution of the internet and social media it is making it easier for predators contact children.

      The Kirksville Police Department offers the following tips regarding child safety on the internet:

      Know what your child is doing online and where they are doing it.

      Talk to your child about potential online dangers.

      Consider using filtering or monitoring software for your computer.

      Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) about their filtering capabilities.

      Teach your child to never give out personal information online.

      Tell your child to never meet with anyone they meet online unless you are present.

      Keep the computer out of your child's bedroom and in a central location.

      Report any online incidents to your local police department or sheriff's office. If you have information that would help investigators they can contact the Kirksville Police Department at (660)-785-6945 or (660)-627-BUST.