Breck Bender was a 14-year-old of Surrey, England got hooked on “Minecraft,” one of the most popular online games among teens. As his love for the game progressed, he became friends with 18-year-old Lewis Daynes.
In December of 2013, Bender’s mother, Lorin LaFave, noticed some strange details about the connection her son had made with Daynes, which prompted her to call the Surrey police. Her worries were ignored by police, who didn’t follow-up with a formal investigation.
Had police dug deeper, they would have realized that Daynes had previously been accused of raping a minor.
When Bender’s mother called and asked for help from the police, share shared that Bender and Daynes had been chatting online since the summer of 2013. She also reported that Daynes was inspiring her son to turn against his family, stop going to church, and letting his schoolwork fall by the wayside.
Dayne also spoke very negatively about the government and Christianity. A few times LaFave overheard their conversations and she was thoroughly troubled. At one point, she decided to take Bendar’s computer away.
When she spoke to police, she was told they would run a background check on Daynes. According to a police log of her final call to inform them, they let her know that they thought it good she took her son’s computer away. Also, they told her if Daynes contacted her son again, she should tell him not to contact her son again.
The police log indicated that rather than running a background check, call dispatcher noted that no follow-up was needed.
The following is part of a transcript of LaFave’s conversation with police:
On February 14, 2014, Bendar decided to meet with with Daynes in his apartment. The 14-year-old was eventually tied up, stabbed and killed.
After committing the horrific crime, Daynes dialed 999 (the equivalent of 911) and instructed, “send police and forensics.”
Since the murder, Surrey police and the IPCC agreed that more research should have been done into Daynes. Two officers involved in the situation have left the police force.
Daynes was arrested and has been handed a life sentence for his actions:
This story brings to light one of the numerous modern-day challenges faced by parents. While they desperately try to stay up on what their kids are doing, the internet, social media, and smartphones open kids up to a world of dangers they can’t see or predict.
This is why some parents are resorting to monitoring their kids’ cell phones.
In LaFave’s case, she tried everything she could do, but the police didn’t do their job. She is now campaigning in England to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future.