Missouri man arrested after trying to lure young girl

KENNETT, MO (WMC-TV) - A 46-year-old man from Kennett, Missouri is in trouble for trying to lure a young girl through text messaging.

Police said the 12-year-old victim told them it all began when she got a random text message from a stranger and she texted back.

Luckily the child's parents found out and helped police put the predator behind bars.

"I think all parents should be involved with their kid's cell phones but their computers, such terrible people out there," her father, who did not want to be identified, said.

"Bob," as he prefers to be called, said the man texting his 12 year old daughter turned out to be a co-worker, 46 year old Eddie Smith.

"Bob" quickly turned his daughter's cell phone over to investigators and they played the part of the young girl.

"The guy told us repeatedly he wished to have sex with us. We set up a meet. Basically he came to try and meet with us and have sex with us," officers said.

Officers arrested Smith and took away two cell phones he had with him.

Police hope this case forces parents to worry about who their kids are texting. Because many youngsters can be easily lured.

Sitting in the park where he watched his daughter play as a child reminds Bob of her innocence and how close she came to losing it.

He does not plan on taking away her freedom, but he does plan to take away her cell phone.

"I don't believe she's going to have it for a while," he said.

Eddie Smith faces felony charges of enticing a child and attempted statutory rape. He is in the Dunklin County Jail on $35,000 bond.

Click here to e-mail Janice Broach.