Teen arrested as murder suspect

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fontana police arrested an 18-year-old man in connection with the death of his pregnant girlfriend, police said.

Police have not yet found the body of Anyssia Katherine Escamilla, 17, of Bloomington, who disappeared May 11. Her boyfriend, Jesus Francisco Avitia, was arrested about 1:30 p.m. Friday and is being held at West Valley Detention Center on suspicion of murder, police said.

Escamilla’s parents reported her missing when she didn’t return home from school. When the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department began investigating, Avitia told them Escamilla was dead and had died in Fontana, police said. The investigation is continuing.

–Leslie Parrilla

The Press-Enterprise

Teens’ MySpace Prank Leads To Arrest

A group of boys who posed as a 15-year-old girl for an Internet prank ended up helping California police arrest a 48-year-old man who tried to meet the fictitious teenager for sex, authorities said.

The five boys had created a fake profile of a girl on MySpace.com — a social networking Web site — to cheer up a friend who had recently broken up with his girlfriend. Soon after, a man began sending messages to the “girl” and their conversations began to have sexual overtones, said Fontana police Sgt. William Megenney.

The man also sent the “girl” his picture and arranged to meet her at a public park in Fontana, 65 miles east of Los Angeles. The boys went to the park and, when the man arrived, they called police.

“He admits to detectives he was going to go up there, meet this 15-year-old girl and have sex,” Megenney said.

Michael Ramos, 48, of Fontana, was booked into West Valley Detention Center on Monday for investigation of felony attempted lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and for an outstanding warrant, Megenney said. He was being held at the West Valley Detention Center on $105,000 bail, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Web site.

The California arrest is the fourth case in two weeks involving the extremely popular MySpace site.

On March 3, the FBI arrested two men in what prosecutors said were the first federal sexual assault charges involving MySpace. The unrelated cases involved Connecticut girls who were 11 and 14, the FBI said.

And, in February, a middle school student in Costa Mesa, Calif., allegedly threatened a female classmate on MySpace. The posting asked “Who here in the (group name) wants to take a shotgun and blast her in the head over a thousand times?” The student who allegedly posted the message is facing suspension from the school. Twenty other students in the Internet group were suspended from school for viewing the Web page, school officials said.

Authorities nationwide have expressed concern that the popular site puts children at risk for abuse, but the CEO of MySpace said the site remains safe. He encouraged parents to teach children the same commonsense rules on the Internet that they learn in the real world.

“If you go to the mall and start talking to strange people, bad things can happen,” Chris DeWolfe, a co-founder of the site, said in a telephone interview. “You’ve got to take the same precautions on the Internet.”