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Old 07-15-2003, 05:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Perv: 12–year–old British girl and ex–US Marine have run away together

12-year-old girl and US Marine may be travelling through France
By Arifa Akbar
15 July 2003

A 12–year–old British girl and the ex–US Marine who have run away together may have flown on from Paris, police said today.

Detectives hunting Shevaun Pennington and Toby Studabaker, aged 31, are looking at the possibility that they may have caught a connecting flight and not stayed in the French capital.

Greater Manchester Police stressed it was only one of a number of possibilities they were examining as the search was stepped up in Europe for the pair, who met on the internet.

Officers from the force are travelling to France to assist French police.

The move comes as French police said there was no evidence to suggest Studabaker and the missing Wigan youngster were in France.

A source in one of the security agencies helping in the hunt said it was possible the French based their stance on immigration control and that the couple may not have passed through.

Police in Manchester remain adamant that the pair, who met on Saturday, were on the flight from Heathrow to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport later that evening.

A spokesman said they were looking at the possibility that they may have then flown on to another destination.

Shevaun Pennington seemed to be the same as any normal 12-year-old experiencing growing pains. She listened to loud punk rock, surfed the Net for hours and talked endlessly of "her boyfriends" despite never having been on a proper date.

No one could have guessed that the person she referred to as her "American boyfriend" was something other than the figment of an excitable school-girl's imagination.

Despite assertions by Mr Studabaker's family that Shevaun had convinced him that she was a 19-year-old student, when he met the schoolgirl for the first time on Saturday, they continued as planned and flew to Heathrow on pre-booked flights before travelling to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, where they arrived by 8pm.

Stephen and Joanne Pennington, held an emotional news conference to urge their daughter to return. Mrs Pennington said: "Please, we just want you back, we're not angry with you, we love you very much and just want you to come home. You are not in any trouble whatsoever. We just want her back, home, that's all."

The Penningtons had warned Shevaun of the dangers of the Net. "We told her she wasn't to give her name, address or anything else to anyone. As far as we were aware she was chatting to people of her own age," Mrs Pennington said.

"Shevaun had never had a proper boyfriend. She has had people she's called boyfriends, but she's never been on any real dates with boys. She does look older than her years. I'm praying that once this man knows how old she is he will do the right thing. I honestly believe Shevaun thinks this man is a lot younger," she said.

However, on the other side of the Atlantic, Mr Studabaker's family defended the actions of the former marine, claiming that he had been convinced he was meeting a 19-year-old student rather than a 12-year-old schoolgirl.

Speaking from the family home in Michigan, Sherry Studabaker, his sister-in-law, said the family was shocked at the discovery of Shevaun's age. "When she first e-mailed him, she said she was 19," Mrs Studabaker told The Independent. "She said she was a student at college. He didn't know."

She described how Mr Studabaker, who had planned the trip only two weeks ago as a "spur of the moment thing", had spent hours sending e-mails to Shevaun on her personal computer. The FBI removed it for examination yesterday as part of the international investigation into the disappearance of the schoolgirl.

Insisting that he would not have gone to meet Shevaun if he had known her age, she added: "I just want him to call me so that we can talk."

Inspector Steve Crimmins, the UK officer leading the search, issued an urgent appeal. "I urge everyone to keep their eyes open. An American ex-Marine and a 12-year-old English girl travelling together should be quite distinctive."

Shevaun, who should have been finishing her first year at Lowton High School this week, was last seen wearing a top emblazoned with the name of the pop group AFI, and wearing black baggy jeans. She had not returned home after leaving the house at 7.30am on Saturday under the guise of meeting two friends. Her parents' anxiety over their missing child rose when a police officer found that clothes and her passport had disappeared from the house. "We discovered later on that she had taken her school bag, which had some clothes in it. I had given her the passport a week ago because she said she was finally going to get an under-16s bus pass ... I never asked for it back, and I never had any reason not to trust her," Mrs Pennington said.

There has been growing anxiety over the susceptibility of young children to the dangers of internet grooming. A survey commissioned by the children's charity the NSPCC found nine in 10 adults were worried about the threat posed to children in chatrooms. Earlier this year, the Government launched a £1m advertising campaign to encourage parents to help children surf the Net safely.

However, in keeping with many children, Shevaun loved surfing the Net and, her father admitted, it had been difficult to prise her away from the compute at times. "She was on the internet all the time, like any kid is. It got to the stage where I would limit her to five hours, but she would still go on when we weren't there. On some occasions, she was on the internet for 11 hours," he said.

The computer took centre- stage in the kitchen of the family home in Leigh, Greater Manchester. For 12 months, as her mother prepared meals a few feet from the screen, Shevaun was becoming more deeply embroiled in her relationship with Mr Studabaker.

According to her mother, her response to boys was a maternal one and she took her school male peers under her wing, referring to them as "little boys".

It could be that maturity of attitude, and her grown-up appearance _ standing at 5ft 3in and with shoulder-length blond hair, she was taller than most of the boys in her class at Lawton Community High School and needed proof of identity to get concessionary bus fares _ that police are hoping has fooled Mr Studabaker into thinking she is older than her years.

But despite the semblance of maturity, Shevaun was the type of 12-year-old who still ran to her mother for hugs. The adult world of sexual relationships was a long way off.

Mr Studabaker, who grew up in North Carolina, had been based with the 3rd Battalion of the 6th MarinesDivision after attending college in Ohio. He had recently left the forces after completing a three-year tour of duty.

He served as a lance corporal in the US Marines anti-terrorism unit between May 2000 and 30 June 2003, and took part in the war in Afghanistan. His wife, Jenny, died of cancer last year.

A photograph of Mr Studabaker making a final phone call before being deployed overseas from his base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, appeared in newspapers around the world just a few days after the 11 September terror attacks.

Another photograph of Mr Studabaker guarding Taliban and al-Qa'ida suspects at Kandahar airport in December 2001 was also used by news organisations.

While he had told friends he was going to take a trip to England, he had kept tight-lipped about meeting his female companion. Police said yesterday there was nothing suspicious about the events surrounding his discharge from the army.

The idea that he was aware of her real age is a far more sinister prospect for the police and the authorities. A check of Shevaun's correspondence after her disappearance showed she had been in touch "regularly" by letter and e-mail.

While parents have faced repeated warnings from the police to monitor their children's use of the internet, Shevaun's case shows that it may not be enough. As one officer said in a televised appeal yesterday, if Mr Studabaker did not know Shevaun's age before he met her, he certainly would have realised how young she was when they met at the airport.

Her parents can only hope Mr Studabaker will send Shevaun back to her family home and to her childhood.
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Old 07-15-2003, 05:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Midwest
Re: Perv: 12–year–old British girl and ex–US Marine have run away together

Originally posted by BoCo

However, in keeping with many children, Shevaun loved surfing the Net and, her father admitted, it had been difficult to prise her away from the compute at times. "She was on the internet all the time, like any kid is. It got to the stage where I would limit her to five hours, but she would still go on when we weren't there. On some occasions, she was on the internet for 11 hours," he said.
This girl's childhood ended already.

Hopefully, there is a moral here for everyone that reads this article. It should go a little something like this: What your child does on-line and where he or she does it is as important as what he or she does outside the home. You should know where your kid goes on-line. And noones kid should spend "eleven hours" a day on the net.

As the article points out, these two should stick out and I hope they find her safe very soon.
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Old 07-15-2003, 06:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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BBC News article with pictures of them. Decide for yourself if she looks 19.

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Old 07-15-2003, 06:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, NY
woah... not even a butterface... that's just damned OMG it's BFUGLY...

I don't care if you are black, white, purple, green, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, hippie, cop, bum, admin, user, English, Irish, French, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, indian, cowboy, tall, short, fat, skinny, emo, punk, mod, rocker, straight, gay, lesbian, jock, nerd, geek, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, either you're an asshole or you're not.

Last edited by Cynthetiq; 07-15-2003 at 06:24 AM..
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Old 07-15-2003, 06:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: NY Burbs
Holy Shi'ite! The guy's run off with Dave Mustaine from Megadeth!

Out the 10Base-T, through the router, down the T1, over the leased line, off the bridge, past the firewall...nothing but Net.

Last edited by platypus; 07-15-2003 at 06:29 AM..
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Old 07-15-2003, 07:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
Location: Ontario, Canada
She's a witch! BURN HER! I don't think I'd be running off with her even if she WAS 19...

11 hours on the net a day... Parents definatly should have done more to limit that. Not impossible to stop her from getting on when their not there...
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Old 07-15-2003, 07:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
Huggles, sir?
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Location: Seattle
So, where are the posters that say you can't possibly control what your child does?

There are ways to limit how much time that someone is able to use the computer per day, even a few software programs for those parents who can't figure out to just steal the cpu / ram / power cable until they get home. The fact that the parents had no idea that 11 hours per day was over-the-top for a 12 year old, is pretty fucked up.
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Old 07-15-2003, 09:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
in the words of Woddy Allen: "The heart wants what the heart wants"

if this creep was a celeb he could probably marry her
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Old 07-15-2003, 10:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Finger on the little red button.
These are strange times.

I refuse to condemn his actions, but neither do I condone his actions if he is aware of her true age. She does look like she could be older to me.

As far as comments about her appearance, I would remind everyone that she's 12 and british, goofy looking with bad teeth is to be expected, give her a few years before we're too harsh.
Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.

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Old 07-15-2003, 11:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Out of my mind
Originally posted by platypus
Holy Shi'ite! The guy's run off with Dave Mustaine from Megadeth!



must stop

not funny
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Old 07-15-2003, 01:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
Essen meine kurze Hosen
Location: NY Burbs
(S)he's back. I guess. Not sure really. Police aren't either.


British police doubt returned passenger is girl who went to Paris with US man

Canadian Press

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

LONDON (AP) - A 12-year-old girl who went to Paris with a former U.S. marine flew back to England by herself, French police said Tuesday. But British police said they don't believe the returning passenger was the missing girl.

The saga began when Shevaun Pennington left Britain on Saturday with Toby Studabaker, 31, of Constantine, Mich., whom she apparently met through the Internet, British police said. French police said Shevaun stayed in Paris for only a few hours Saturday before flying to Liverpool airport and that the former marine did not go with her.

A British police spokesman said, "We are very, very dubious," that the S. Pennington listed on the return flight is the missing Shevaun, because the passenger was one of a group of five on a previously booked ticket.
Out the 10Base-T, through the router, down the T1, over the leased line, off the bridge, past the firewall...nothing but Net.
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Old 07-15-2003, 04:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Wisconsin...
Originally posted by Cynthetiq
woah... not even a butterface... that's just damned OMG it's BFUGLY...
I'll easily agree........proof that people are way fucked up......
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Old 07-15-2003, 04:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: IN, USA
Yeah I don't get that.. she doesn't seem wonderful.. no offense, but.. ugh.. and she doesn't look 19... her face... 16.. MAYBE... but not 19... besides.. where's the rest of her body? There is a big difference on the BODY between a 12 year old and a 19 year old.....

11 hours a day? What the Hell? you think she could get off-line once in a while. They coulda done a number of things to stop her.. Shit, when my dad decided to be evil, he hooked the Router up to an Egg Timer.. Took me forever to find out, because I was expecting it to be done the IT way, not the ..... EGG TIMER way.. heh. But it was a public computer, they coulda done lock out.. Egg Timer.. Unplug the modem if it was a phone line one... Put the computer in a "cabinet" and lock it.... many things to do. They knew she'd use it any chance she could get, so why didn't they do anything?

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Old 07-15-2003, 04:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
Location: Wherever I am!
Wow 11 hours, kind of hard to belive a 12 yr old could do anything for 11 hours straight. I know I watched over my stepdaughters internet usage when she was at home. It really is not that hard to do. Besides the parents were inches away from the screen at times. Sounds like they started caring a little to late! Even if this guy did not know how old she was when they first met, he should have figured it out from all the conversations. A 12 yr old does not talk or write, or use the same language as a 19 yr old. And after seeing her picture the guy would have to be one horny dude to fly across the pond for that!

But I hope she comes home soon, I'd hate to be those parents.
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Old 07-15-2003, 11:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
42, baby!
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Location: The Netherlands
Interesting that he's immediately labeled a "perv" for doing this. He apparently thought she was a 19-year old student (hey, it happens!). Perhaps he hasn't done anything with her after he found out she was 12? Perhaps he only discovered this when he met her in Paris, and then didn't quite know what to do?

Hell, if I were in this situation, I'd probably take her to EuroDisney, make her feel a bit better about herself by telling her she *is* worthwile and nice, and then send her home again. Perhaps I'd tell her to come back in 8 years if we'd still be interested.

FYI, she called her parents the other day, to say she was safe. He said he would contact the FBI. Oh, and they claim she ran off for something totally different - perhaps trouble at home...
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Old 07-16-2003, 04:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
Location: vancouver
a women lying about her age.....what's this world coming to

as for her flying back home alone, maybe he realize she looked nothing like the pics she sent him......it happens
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Old 07-16-2003, 06:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
She looks quite...whats the word... masculine to me.
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12–year–old, british, ex–us, girl, marine, perv, run

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