Pasco County mom spots predator contacting daughter on Facebook

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A Wesley Chapel mom intercepted an online predator's messages to her daughter before the 10-year-old could read them.

Michele Bella says she monitors her daughter's Facebook profile closely. That's how she noticed the stranger's message Friday morning.

“Is this person trying to get my daughter?” asked Bella, who responded to the message, pretending to be her daughter.

It wasn't long before the stranger started sending inappropriate and sexual messages.

“It was very apparent this person was sexting my 10-year-old daughter,” said Bella.

The man said he was from Germany, but Bella fears he could be closer to home.

She reported him to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office Friday and investigators took the child's phone to track him down.

“I would like to at least get an IP address and see who it is,” said Bella.

When asked why her 10-year-old has a Facebook profile, Bella responded she uses it to communicate with relatives from out-of-state, and it's always monitored by her watchful eye.

The unexpected messages to the little girl have served as a reality check, Bella said, and she hopes other parents stay alert.

"You don’t know what’s going to happen."