WAYNE, NJ – An 11-year-old girl in Wayne, New Jersey, was abducted by a man she had met while playing online video games, raising concerns about online safety for young gamers. Local authorities from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office received a call about a missing child near Route 46 and Old Turnpike Road on September 10. The investigation revealed that the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Darius Matylewich, and the victim had connected through various gaming platforms, including Roblox.
While Roblox confirmed that the initial interaction between Matylewich and the girl did not occur on their platform, it’s believed they started communicating elsewhere and continued while playing Roblox. The girl was located in Bear, Delaware, shortly after being reported missing, suggesting that Matylewich had transported her more than 130 miles across state lines from Wayne to his Delaware residence.
Matylewich was promptly arrested on charges of first-degree kidnapping and third-degree child endangerment. If convicted on the kidnapping charge, he faces a prison sentence that could range from 10 to 30 years. A detention hearing for Matylewich was postponed to October 20.
Information about his legal representation was not immediately available.
Roblox, in response to the incident, emphasized its commitment to preventing grooming on its platform. The company has thousands of moderators who enforce strict community standards, including a zero-tolerance policy for sexual content. They also provide features like text chat filtering, parental controls, and the ability to report abusive content or behavior.
While law enforcement had not directly contacted Roblox, the platform reached out to offer assistance in the case. The investigation into the incident remains ongoing. Parents and guardians are urged to educate their children about online safety, including the importance of not sharing personal information with strangers on gaming platforms or social media.