#childsafety | West Tennessee man accused of going to Arkansas to meet teen girl

Investigators said David Odom, 57, of Trenton, Tennessee, had made contact through social media with a person he though was a 15-year-old girl.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jonesboro Police have arrested a West Tennessee man they said traveled to Arkansas to meet a person who he thought was a 15-year-old girl.

Investigators said on Sept. 20, 2022, David Odom, 57, of Trenton, Tennessee, had made contact through social media with a person he though was a 15-year-old girl. They said he made sexual references and continued texting the girl.

Detectives with the Internet Crimes Against Children division arrested Odom Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, when they said he traveled more than two hours from Trenton to Jonesboro to meet the girl in a hotel room. Police said he was taken into custody after renting the room.

Investigators said Odom is a registered sex offender. He is now charged with internet stalking of a child and bond was set at $1,000,000.

Keeping children safe online

Here are some tips from the Justice Department for parents to keep children safe while on the internet and social media.

  • Discuss internet safety and develop an online safety plan with children before they engage in online activity. Establish clear guidelines, teach children to spot red flags, and encourage children to have open communication with you.
  • Supervise young children’s use of the internet, including periodically checking their profiles and posts. Keep electronic devices in open, common areas of the home and consider setting time limits for their use.
  • Review games, apps, and social media sites before they are downloaded or used by children. Pay particular attention to apps and sites that feature end-to-end encryption, direct messaging, video chats, file uploads, and user anonymity, which are frequently relied upon by online child predators.
  • Adjust privacy settings and use parental controls for online games, apps, social medial sites, and electronic devices.
  • Tell children to avoid sharing personal information, photos, and videos online in public forums or with people they do not know in real life. Explain to your children that images posted online will be permanently on the internet.
  • Teach children about body safety and boundaries, including the importance of saying ‘no’ to inappropriate requests both in the physical world and the virtual world.
  • Be alert to potential signs of abuse, including changes in children’s use of electronic devices, attempts to conceal online activity, withdrawn behavior, angry outbursts, anxiety, and depression.
  • Encourage children to tell a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult if anyone asks them to engage in sexual activity or other inappropriate behavior.
  • Immediately report suspected online enticement or sexual exploitation of a child by calling 911, contacting the FBI at tips.fbi.gov, or filing a report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-843-5678 or report.cybertip.org.

Learn more at Keeping Children Safe Online (justice.gov).

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