US 6-year-old's family members "kidnapped" him to teach him lesson about strangers

(Clockwise from top left) Family members Nathan Firoved, Elizabeth Hupp, Denise Kroutil, Rose Brewer were arrested for staging a mock kidnapping on a six-year-old boy because they thought he was too nice to strangers. -- PHOTO:  LINCOLN COUNTY S
(Clockwise from top left) Family members Nathan Firoved, Elizabeth Hupp, Denise Kroutil, Rose Brewer were arrested for staging a mock kidnapping on a six-year-old boy because they thought he was too nice to strangers. -- PHOTO:  LINCOLN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE/  FACEBOOK

Members of a family that took a lesson about strangers too far with a six-year-old boy, have been arrested.

Police in Missouri, the United States, said that the family members staged his mock kidnapping because they thought he was too nice to strangers, BBC News reported.

The boy's aunt, Denise Kroutil, allegedly asked a colleague, Nathan Firoved, to help "scare" her nephew. Kroutil, Firoved and the boy's mother and grandmother, who allegedly also took part, have been arrested and charged in court.

Firoved lured the six-year-old into his car after he left a school bus in Troy, Missouri. He then took the boy to the basement in his home. The man told the boy he would never "see his mommy again" and would be "nailed to the wall of a shed", the BBC article said.

Firoved allegedly showed the boy a handgun as he was crying to threaten him. He then covered the boy's head with a jacket, tied his hands and feet, and brought him into his own basement. In the basement, Kroutil allegedly took off her nephew's pants and told him he could be sold into "sex slavery".

Eventually, the boy was unbound and given a lecture about strangers, police said. The boy's school called child protective services when he told them what had happened.

"Family members told investigators their primary intent was to educate the victim and felt they did nothing wrong," a statement from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said.

Firoved, Kroutil and the child's grandmother, Rose Brewer, were charged with kidnapping, restraint, as well as abuse and neglect of a child. His mother, Elizabeth Hupp, was also charged with kidnapping and abuse and neglect.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg