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Facebook Post Saves Woman from Hostage Situation

Police say the woman hid in a closet with her laptop and posted a status update on Facebook after being held captive for four or five days.

A Utah woman and her 17-month-old son were rescued from a residence after she posted a desperate status update on Facebook.

According to the Associated Press, the woman and her disabled son were held captive for about four or five days, during which they were abused both physically and sexually. Sergeant Jon Arnold of the Salt Lake City Police Department told the Associated Press that the woman hid in a closet with her laptop and posted a status update on Facebook saying she would be "dead by morning" if they were not rescued.

One of her Facebook friends called the police after seeing her post, and the police went to the residence to investigate. When they arrived at the residence, they were met by 33-year-old Troy Reed Critchfield. Critchfield initially wouldn't let the police in, but they were finally allowed in and allowed to talk to the woman.

She told them she and her son had been held hostage in the house for about five days, during which they had been hit, choked, and sexually abused.

Arnold said that while the woman had "injuries consistent with the allegations," she refused to go to a hospital for treatment.

The police eventually arrested Critchfield on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping, forcible sodomy, aggravated assault, domestic violence, child abuse, animal cruelty, and other charges. Critchfield has a record -- in 2010, he pleaded guilty to charges of felony aggravated assault and obstruction of justice.

This isn't the first time Facebook has been used in a hostage situation--in June, a 36-year-old man took a female hostage, barricaded himself in a house, and then updated his Facebook status. In that particular case (also in Utah), police surrounded the residence and there was a 16-hour standoff during which the man updated his status several times. The standoff eventually ended with him shooting himself in the chest.

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