A Folsom mother got online and posed as her daughter to help police arrest a suspected internet predator. The woman, who did not want to be identified, said her daughter confided in her that something was amiss.
Her 10-year old daughter was researching a paper on the solar system two days ago, when someone sent her an instant message. At first, it seemed innocent, she said, but then things changed.
“It got out of hand and talking about inappropriate stuff,” the girl said. “That’s when I knew.”
Her mother says she just happened to ask her daughter if everything was okay. Her daughter’s response came as a shock. “They told me to touch myself and then I told them, why would I do that, I’m a little girl?” the child said.
Her mother called police and asked if she could pose as her daughter online. Then she got to work.
“I’d misspell words. I would say things differently. I typed with one finger so it was a little slower,” she said, as she tried to be convincing.
The suspect was completely taken in. “He proceeded to talk to me about the same things, the masturbation-type things, sending me explicit photos,” she said.
She was able to get the man’s real name and other information that led Folsom Police directly to the suspect.
On Wednesday morning, they served a search warrant at the suspect’s home and that afternoon, arrested 53-year old Gerald Ivor Edwards on one count of sending harmful matter with the intent to seduce a minor and one count of annoying or molesting a minor.
Police say the suspect is a local sex registrant who was previously arrested for indecent exposure.
At Edwards’ home, a woman who identified herself as his mother said she could not understand her son’s alleged actions.
“(He’s) quite kind, very loving. He’s wonderful to me. And he’s great with people,” she said.
Folsom Police are concerned there may be other victims and are asking anyone who suspects their child may have had some kind of inappropriate contact with someone on line, to give them a call.
The alleged 10-year old victim says she is fine and is proud of how she and her mother handled things. “My friend’s mom said I did a little bit of good because the guy in in jail now,” she said.