Dec 27, 2011

People often use Facebook statuses to share exciting news about their lives. But a dire Facebook post last weekend saved the lives of a Utah woman and her 17-month-old-son after they were held hostage in their own home for five days.

Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Jon Arnold told the Associated Press that the woman hid in a closet with a laptop from which she posted a cry for help, saying she and her child would be "dead by morning" if someone didn't intervene.

The post prompted a friend to call police, who were dispatched to the woman's home to check in on her.

"Facebook was her only outlet that she had at the home," Arnold said. "It just happened that she was able to use it."

Police on Saturday arrested and detained 33-year-old Troy Reed Critchfield while they investigated charges of aggravated kidnapping, forcible sodomy, aggravated assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and animal cruelty, among other things, the AP said.

The AP said the woman told police that Critchfield forcibly held her and her son in her home, where he repeatedly hit, choked, and sexually abused her for nearly a week. She also said Critchfield took her cell phone and another phone in the house that belonged to a disabled child, and that he refused to let her feed her dog.

Although the woman refused to go to a hospital to be treated, the AP noted that she had "bruises and other physical injuries consistent with [the] allegations."

"She claims that any time she went to go to a door, he physically assaulted her," Arnold said.

Critchfield is still in jail, and it's unclear if he's gotten a lawyer.

A Facebook post from last week also led to an arrest when an Illinois man reportedly posted a picture of his daughter bound and gagged with duct tape. He was charged with aggravated domestic battery.
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