A teenage girl in Iowa was arrested last week and charged with solicitation to commit murder, a felony, for allegedly seeking to hire a hitman to kill a 7-year-old child, according to reports by CBS and the Des Moines Register.
According to local authorities, the 17-year-old attempted to use a fake website, Rentahitman.com, to facilitate the murder. The teenager visited the website twice and posted details such as the child's name, address, and how to locate them.
The owner of the website, Bob Innes, alerted the Storm Lake Police Department to the request around midnight on June 2nd and an undercover officer contacted the teenage suspect.
In a statement to NBC News, Chief Chris Cole said that the undercover officer was able to confirm that the threat to the child was legitimate and the teenager was arrested that afternoon.
Additional evidence found on the suspect's phone further confirmed the credibility of the threat. She was taken into police custody and was in a juvenile detention facility as of Wednesday. The child and their family had been unaware of the threat but were unharmed.
The fake website that stops real crime
Rentahitman.com is a satirical parody website that includes joke content but also serves as a front for a contract-killing agency.
Innes forwards requests that seem serious to law enforcement authorities. Usage of the site has resulted in several prosecutions and convictions, and Innes estimates that around 10% of requests for services on the site lead to police investigations.