This is the same story told in episode 2A, but without any graphic or sexual material.
Hey, y’all! I’m your host Peyton and in this episode I’m going to be telling you the same story I did in episode 2A, but this one will be geared more towards a younger audience.
Today I’m going to share with you the story of a 12 year old boy and what happened when he trusted a friend that he never met. This is The Crimes-Picayune.
Our story is about a boy named Justin Bloxom. Justin loved to skateboard and he played football for his middle school’s team! Justin had 3 brothers and everyone that knew Justin describes him as goofy and kind and how easy he was to talk to! He was a very normal, typical pre-teen boy! Almost 11 years ago on March 29th 2010, Justin decided to stay over at his friend, Dustin’s, house. This was a Monday night so they typically wouldn’t be able to stay the night with one another, but both boys were out on spring break so they didn’t have to go to school all week! The boys lived not far from one another in a small town called Stonewall. Stonewall is located towards the top left corner of Louisiana in DeSoto Parish, it’s not very far from Shreveport.
Justin was so excited to hangout with his best friend. They had a great night! They played video games until Dustin started getting tired around 10 PM and that’s when they decided to go watch tv in his room where Dustin slept on the top bunk and Justin slept on the bottom bunk. Dustin fell asleep not long after climbing into bed, but Justin stayed up playing on his phone. Now, Justin loved his phone! His mom said he would send almost 2,000 text messages per month! But, he had recently gotten in some trouble because he went against what his parents told him. Justin secretly made an account on social media even though his parents told him that he was too young to have an account, he made one anyway. When his mom discovered his account, she saw that he had written something really inappropriate on his profile. She said, “I explained to Justin the importance of not putting things out there that you don’t know what it means. Things can get misconstrued. People will look at you like a different person based on what you put out there on the world wide web.”
The next morning when Dustin woke up, he couldn’t find Justin anywhere! He searched his whole house and he even looked outside to see if maybe Justin was talking on the phone with someone. Well, when Dustin couldn’t find him he called his mom to see what to do and she suggested calling Justin’s mom to see if maybe there was a mixup in the pick-up time and he had already gone home. But when Dustin arrived at Justin’s house with his backpack, his brother Tyler had no idea where Justin was. That’s when Tyler called his mom and she told him to call 911 and she would be home from work as soon as she could.
The family called the police and everyone went to Dustin’s house to brainstorm where Justin could be! This wasn’t like Justin to leave without telling anyone where he was going, so his mom was very upset. Dustin told the police officers that he knew Justin actually had a girlfriend and maybe he went to her house.
Justin’s girlfriend’s name was also Tyler, just like his brother’s.
Tyler and I were friends in high school so I reached out to her to get her perspective on the events that happened that day.
She said she was sitting in class when they called her over the intercom to come to the office. When she got there, she was greeted by police officers and a detective. They asked her if she knew where Justin was or if she had heard from him recently and she told them the last time they had spoken was the night before and she hadn’t heard from him since.
Tyler had no idea Justin was missing until the officers told her right before asking her to return to class. When she got back to class, she checked her phone and saw that Justin’s mom and brother had both been trying to reach her but because she was in class she hadn’t seen these attempts.
While this was going on, some boys at Dustin’s house said they overheard a neighbor named Mr. Pate talking about something strange he had seen very late that night. Around 2AM, Mr. Pate looked out his window and saw a taxi cab in front of Dustin’s home.
After talking to Mr. Pate, police officers looked at a printout of all of Justin’s text messages that he sent and received the night before.
They saw that Justin and his girlfriend stopped texting around 9:30 but a new number started texting him around 11PM. Justin had no idea who this person was because he didn’t have their number saved in his phone. The person said their name was Amber and that she was 15 years old. The two began texting back and forth for a little while and Amber offered to come pick Justin up so they could hang out at her house. Justin felt very uneasy about going to a stranger’s house. But Amber pushed and pressured him into letting her pick him up until Justin finally agreed.
So around 1AM, Amber said she borrowed a car and was on her way. When she arrived, she parked at the end of Dustin’s street but Justin didn’t want to walk all that way so he told her to forget about it and just go home. But around 2 that same morning, Amber told Justin she’d send a taxi to come pick him up.
On the police’s printout of the messages, they saw she was the last person he had talked to so they wanted to find Amber and the taxi.
So the police officers contacted the company of taxi that Mr. Pate had seen and they asked who was driving around Dustin’s neighborhood that morning. They discovered a man named Brian Horn was the taxi driver they were looking for.
Now, Brian Horn is not a good guy. He had been arrested 14 times since he was 19 years old and he was now 35. After learning the identity of the person driving the taxi, the police went on the news and said that they were looking for Brian and they wanted to see him at the police station.
Brian Horn went to the station with his brother, Kevin. The officers questioned Brian and asked him where he was the night before and what he was doing. While the officers questioned Brian, they looked through his brother’s car because that’s how Brian got to the police station. They wanted to see if they could find any evidence that connected him to Justin. Well, in the car they found a SIM card that belonged to Brian. A SIM card is a little chip that goes into phones that can store contacts and texts messages. When they searched the information that was on the SIM card, they discovered that Brian Horn was Amber. He had pretended to be a young girl and Justin had no idea.
While Brian Horn was at the station, officers received the call they never wanted to get. Justin had been found, but he was no longer alive. He was found in the woods not far from Dustin’s home.
In front of the place where Justin lost his life, there is a sign that says “Justin M Bloxom 05/29/1997-03/30/2010 Now in God’s hands, forever in our hearts Matthew 6:9-15”
Justin also has a memorial garden dedicated to him at the middle school he attended.
Justin Bloxom would be turning 24 this year, but his loved ones keep his memory alive by telling his story in hopes that children will be cautious when talking to people they don’t know over the internet.
Please make sure to tell your parents about the friends you make online, you never know just who you could be talking to.