On Monday, a 6-year-old Missouri boy went to hell and back: Police say he was kidnapped from his bus stop and put through a traumatic four-hour ordeal that was allegedly plotted by his aunt, a co-worker she recruited, the child's grandmother, and his own mom, Fox News reports. The reasoning for the "fake" snatching, per KTVI: Family members wanted to frighten the boy because he was "too nice" to strangers, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says. After the boy went back to school and reported the incident, Missouri's family services got involved and arrests were made: Denise Kroutil (the aunt), Nathan Firoved (her colleague), and Rose Brewer (the child's grandmother) were all charged with kidnapping, felonious restraint, and abuse/neglect of a child, while mom Elizabeth Hupp was charged with kidnapping and abuse/neglect of a child.
Police say Firoved lured the boy into his truck, then allegedly told him he'd never see his mom again and that he'd be "nailed to the wall of a shed." Cops say Firoved then used plastic bags to bind his hands and feet, threw a jacket over his face, and brought the blindfolded boy back to the child's own house, where he was kept in the basement. Kroutil allegedly stepped in, pulling the boy's pants down, threatening he'd be sold into sex slavery, and yelling at him for not putting up a fight against her or Firoved (the blindfolded boy apparently didn't recognize her voice, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports). Police say the suspects kept in touch via cellphone throughout the incident before finally bringing the child upstairs and lecturing him on stranger danger. The boy has been placed in protective custody.