HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Deputies say an alert florist helped uncover a Milton man’s inappropriate communications with a child, leading to the arrest of Aaron Ferrell, 42.
According to the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, a local florist became concerned and notified school officials after Ferrell placed an order, requesting flowers be sent anonymously to a child with a card reading “to my beauty from your beast”.
Deputies say after an investigation, it was revealed that Ferrell had contacted the child through Snapchat and texts to send inappropriate messages and photos.
Ferrell was arrested and is charged with use of a computer to seduce or solicit a child, transmitting harmful material to a minor, and using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.
Sheriff John Tate states this arrest serves to remind the public to both report suspicious incidents and to be mindful of phone and social media use by children.
“This is a good example of ‘See Something, Say Something’ at work,” said Sheriff John Tate. “The florist felt something wasn’t right with the situation and acted on it, possibly preventing this crime from evolving into something that would have been more harmful to the child.”
“I urge every parent and guardian to be proactive when it comes to their children’s internet and social media activity. Don’t be afraid to take a good look at their mobile devices. Be aware of what social media apps they use and who they are talking to with those apps and through text. Some apps have a camouflage feature that can conceal their true purpose, so check for hidden apps by opening and exploring any you aren’t familiar with. Also, don’t forget to have conversations with your children about online safety and keep the line of communication open as new issues seem to arise frequently.”