cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
H 77° L 55°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    Current Conditions
    Light Rain. H 77° L 57°
  • heavy-rain-night Created with Sketch.
    Light Rain. H 77° L 57°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    Partly Cloudy. H 82° L 59°

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

2 Investigates: Fake agency targeting teens for nude modeling

2 Investigates: Fake agency targeting teens for nude modeling

2 Investigates: Fake agency targeting teens for nude modeling
Photo Credit: WSB-TV
U.S. Postal Inspection Service inspector Yulunda Burns told Channel 2's Jodie Fleischer that the sender could spend up to five years in jail.

2 Investigates: Fake agency targeting teens for nude modeling

It's a mystery one local family has been trying to unravel for months now: Is their teenage son the victim of an elaborate prank or a child predator?

Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer tried to get to the bottom of that question, and discovered that even federal agents aren't sure. But investigators with the United States Postal Inspection Service were so interested, they opened a preliminary case to examine the evidence.

Most 14 year olds don't receive much mail, especially an unsolicited letter in an envelope stamped 'confidential' in red ink, with printed labels from a modeling agency named 'S&M'.

"This is sick. This is just...Something's wrong," said a Gwinnett County mom who didn't want to be identified.

She still isn't sure who targeted her teenage son, explicitly mentioning his name in each of the letters.

The letter was sent to at least 15 freshmen at Parkview High School in Lilburn.

"That scared me. Like, he's a minor... there's no way my son would be doing any 'artistic nude' photo shoots," the mother said.

The letter says her son would be launching his modeling career with revealing photos, and invites his classmates to show up and watch. But the letter lists no location. Two photos included in the letter are lifted from the Internet.

"My thought was number one, it's either some kind of pervert who is trying to get photos or it's some child at school playing a prank," the mother said.

Fleischer tried to find out which. First, she drove to the return address listed on the envelope. It's a real modeling agency for kids in northwest Atlanta.

"Oh it's absurd. It's crazy, it's insane and we don't know why," said Eva Stancil, owner and operator of Kiddin' Around, the real modeling agency at that address, “Who is the victim here? Is it the boy or is it us?"

Stancil had already seen the letters when several showed up in her mailbox marked return to sender. She also heard from an angry father.

"He thought that 'S&M' may be a division of Kiddin' Around – which let me get this perfectly clear – it is not," said Stancil, who had already contacted the Atlanta Police Department.

"The police basically told me there was nothing they can do," said Stancil.

But Fleischer also showed the letters and envelopes to investigators with the United States Postal Inspection Service.

"By them using someone else's address, it could be to lure children to a destination for child exploitation, or it could have just been an elaborate prank, but whatever the case is, just the use of this address alone is illegal," said inspector Yulanda Burns.

Burns said, if caught, the sender could end up in prison for up to five years.

The envelopes have identifying codes on the outside, but the best clues may be inside the unopened letters. For example, DNA from whoever sealed them, or fingerprints on the letter inside. Burns did not want to comment specifically regarding the agency's investigative tools.

"There is a lot of evidence that can be gathered, so we will conduct a preliminary investigation to see what we can find out, to see who is responsible for this," said Burns.


Some of the boy's friends asked him about the letter on Twitter and several parents called his mother. She told Fleischer she's relieved that her son handled it so well.

"He's very confident. He's a very good, outgoing kid and so for him it was, trying to play a prank on me and I'm not worried about it because my friends know who I am,'" the mother said.

But she also wonders how the sender knew where the teens live. Parkview had not yet published its student directory for this school year, but all of the students attended eighth-grade together at Trickum Middle School last year, and were listed in that directory. It includes students' names, phone numbers, and home addresses.

"I never thought about it before. I would have never thought anything of it when I signed the little slip that says my child's name can be in the directory," said the mom, adding that she never would have imagined it could be used for something like this letter.

"It was child porn. I think that if it was a student, I think the school needs to be aware. If it is an adult, I'd like to see them in prison," the mother said.

She wonders how a 14-year-old would have been able to print and mail so many letters without a parent noticing.

There was also an earlier business-style letter sent to four of the boy's adult relatives, about a month before this letter was sent to all of the teens. Investigators think it's less likely a child would have done that as part of a prank, and the earlier letter used the mom's legal name, which she says her close friends don't even know.

"That kind of frightens me a little bit. My gut says it had to be somebody who would know that information because it's not readily used," said the mom, adding that her son knows all of the kids who were mailed the letter, but several are outside of his friend group.

Postal inspectors intend to reach out to the teens who received the letter, and the school.

"It may be a prank, but it's not funny, not at all, because real children were used, a real business was used," said Burns.

Read More


  • Moving forward with a campaign pledge to unravel former President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to curb global warming, President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday that will suspend, rescind or flag for review more than a half-dozen measures in an effort to boost domestic energy production in the form of fossil fuels. As part of the roll-back, Trump will initiate a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The regulation, which was the former president's signature effort to curb carbon emissions, has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas. Trump, who has called global warming a 'hoax' invented by the Chinese, has repeatedly criticized the power-plant rule and others as an attack on American workers and the struggling U.S. coal industry. The contents of the order were outlined to reporters in a sometimes tense briefing with a senior White House official, whom aides insisted speak without attribution despite President Trump's criticism of the use of unnamed sources in the news media. The official at one point appeared to break with mainstream climate science, denying familiarity with widely publicized concerns about the potential adverse economic impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and more extreme weather. In addition to pulling back from the Clean Power Plan, the administration will also lift a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The Obama administration had imposed a three-year moratorium on new federal coal leases in January 2016, arguing that the $1 billion-a-year program must be modernized to ensure a fair financial return to taxpayers and address climate change. Trump accused his predecessor of waging a 'war on coal' and boasted in a speech to Congress that he has made 'a historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations,' including some that threaten 'the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners.' The order will also chip away at other regulations, including scrapping language on the 'social cost' of greenhouse gases. It will initiate a review of efforts to reduce the emission of methane in oil and natural gas production as well as a Bureau of Land Management hydraulic fracturing rule, to determine whether those reflect the president's policy priorities. It will also rescind Obama-era executive orders and memoranda, including one that addressed climate change and national security and one that sought to prepare the country for the impacts of climate change. The administration is still in discussion about whether it intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. But the moves to be announced Tuesday will undoubtedly make it more difficult for the U.S. to achieve its goals. Trump's Environmental Protection Agency chief, Scott Pruitt, alarmed environmental groups and scientists earlier this month when he said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. The statement is at odds with mainstream scientific consensus and Pruitt's own agency. The overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed studies and climate scientists agree the planet is warming, mostly due to man-made sources, including carbon dioxide, methane, halocarbons and nitrogen oxide. The official who briefed reporters said the president does believe in man-made climate change. The power-plant rule Trump is set to address in his order has been on hold since last year as a federal appeals court considers a challenge by coal-friendly states and more than 100 companies who call the plan an unconstitutional power grab. Opponents say the plan will kill coal-mining jobs and drive up electricity costs. The Obama administration, some Democratic-led states and environmental groups countered that it would spur thousands of clean-energy jobs and help the U.S. meet ambitious goals to reduce carbon pollution set by the international agreement signed in Paris. Trump's order on coal-fired power plants follows an executive order he signed last month mandating a review of an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting small streams and wetlands from development and pollution. The order instructs the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to review a rule that redefined 'waters of the United States' protected under the Clean Water Act to include smaller creeks and wetlands. While Republicans have blamed Obama-era environmental regulations for the loss of coal jobs, federal data shows that U.S. mines have been shedding jobs for decades under presidents from both parties as a result of increasing automation and competition from cheaper natural gas. Another factor is the plummeting cost of solar panels and wind turbines, which now can produce emissions-free electricity cheaper than burning coal. According to an Energy Department analysis released in January, coal mining now accounts for fewer than 70,000 U.S. jobs. By contrast, renewable energy — including wind, solar and biofuels — now accounts for more than 650,000 U.S. jobs. The Trump administration's plans drew praise from business groups and condemnation from environmental groups. U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue praised the president for taking 'bold steps to make regulatory relief and energy security a top priority.' 'These executive actions are a welcome departure from the previous administration's strategy of making energy more expensive through costly, job-killing regulations that choked our economy,' he said. Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy accused the Trump administration of wanting 'us to travel back to when smokestacks damaged our health and polluted our air, instead of taking every opportunity to support clean jobs of the future.' 'This is not just dangerous; it's embarrassing to us and our businesses on a global scale to be dismissing opportunities for new technologies, economic growth, and U.S. leadership,' she said in a statement. ___ Associated Press writer Michael Biesecker contributed to this report. Follow Daly and Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDC and https://twitter.com/colvinj
  • Amy Peterson’s daughter Gracie had been getting teased at school for not having a father.  >> Read more trending news “She had one kid tell her she didn’t have a dad because she’s fat and ugly,” the Henry County mother told told WSB-TV. So when the daughter-father dance rolled around, Peterson got the idea to dress up as a father and go to the dance, she told the news station.  “(Gracie) was OK with it,” she said, “She was excited that her friends were going to get to see this.”  They even posted a photo of what Peterson would look like taking her daughter to the dance.  But an hour before the two were set to leave, Peterson got a phone call from the Locust Grove Elementary School principal telling her she couldn’t go.  “She said: ‘No I forbid you to come and if you show up we will turn you away,’” she told WSB-TV.  Peterson had no choice but to tell her 6-year-old daughter they couldn’t go.  The news was just as painful for her as it was for her daughter.  “I identify myself as her father and mother because that’s what I’ve done for six years,” she said.  In a statement to WSB-TV, Henry County school officials said administrators spoke to Peterson in advance about the dance and said she was told in a dance announcement that any father figure could attend in lieu of a father.  “The school is cognizant that different dynamics exist across households in our school system,” officials said in the statement. “Anyone with a question as to the requirements or specifics of any school extracurricular event is encouraged to reach out to a school official or teacher. There are multiple parent engagement events and opportunities to participate with their kids annually at this school in an effort to make that connection and build school spirit.”  The school also holds a mother-son dance and a sweethearts dance for Valentine’s Day.  The school also offered to refund Peterson her $20 and made an apology.  Still, Peterson thinks more could have been done.  “I think they handled it poorly,” she told WSB-TV. “They shouldn’t have turned any parent away.”
  • A man whose daughter was killed in a traffic accident has joined a campaign to improve the busy intersection. A car hit and killed Alexia Hyneman, 14, on Monroe Drive and 10th Street in midtown Atlanta last year. The driver told police he did not see Hyneman, who was riding her bike when it happened around 3 p.m. She was a freshman at Grady High School. A neighborhood group wants to slow down traffic on Monroe Drive and turn one traffic lane into a bike lane. Alexia's father wants to make sure no family has to go through their pain. 'it hit her hard enough to send her quite a distance. I don't quite understand how the car accelerated that fast in the brief route that it had but it had to,' Thomas Hyneman said. There are two more days for public comment on the project.
  • A Cherokee County middle school teacher who was killed in a car crash will be buried Tuesday.  Kevin White, 37, of Canton, died Friday after his F-150 went off a 100-foot embankment on I-575 at Little River Bridge near Ridgewalk Parkway in Woodstock, officials said. He was a chorus teacher at E.T. Booth Middle School in Woodstock.  RELATED: Teacher dies after pickup truck goes off embankment on I-575 White’s funeral will be held Tuesday at Canton First United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. Visitation is scheduled until 9 p.m. Monday and again from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at South Canton Funeral Home. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. White's family and friends,” Cherokee County Schools said in a statement. White had taught in the school district since 2004.  Grief counselors had been at the school since Friday, spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said.  In other news: