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Cops Searching Home Find Trap Door, Missing Girl Discovered Inside

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During these merry times, it’s easy to forget that police encounter depravity on a regular basis — and said depravity doesn’t take holidays off.

According to WTVQ in Lexington, Kentucky, on Christmas Day, police discovered a missing 16-year-old girl inside a trap door beneath a rug in the bedroom of 34-year-old Zackary Jones’ residence.



The girl had been missing from her North Carolina home since Dec. 6.

Police responded to a call from Jones’ mother, who reported an “altercation” between Jones and “his girlfriend” at the man’s home in Lincoln County, Kentucky.

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The missing girl told police that Jones had strangled her and engaged in sexual acts with her.

Police also said that Jones had communicated with the girl online and then driven to North Carolina to get her.

The WTVQ report indicated that Jones possessed a handgun. But it did not say whether he used the gun in the girl’s alleged kidnapping.

Jones faces a litany of charges, including possession of a controlled substance.

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In fact, according to WKYT in Lexington, when police entered the home “they could see drug paraphernalia with residue in plain view.”

Jones then allegedly tried to dispose of the paraphernalia before police restrained him.

At that point, with the suspect secured in the back of a police car, officers continued their search for the girl.

When they found her inside the trap door, she appeared “very high,” according to WKYT.

Jones also has charges pending in North Carolina.

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In Kentucky, Jones faces charges of “assault, strangulation, two counts of unlawful transaction with a minor, resisting arrest, unlawful imprisonment, drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, rape, sodomy, use of a minor in a sexual transaction by electronic means and terroristic threatening,” according to WTVQ.

One hardly knows where to begin.

First, every successful recovery of a missing person calls forth gratitude toward law enforcement.

Likewise, the fact that this incident occurred on Christmas Day reminds us of the personal sacrifices those officers make.

On a broader level, Jones’ alleged crimes make one wonder whether we face an epidemic of unprecedented depravity or if the modern world’s swift dissemination of information has simply made us more aware of it.

Something about today’s crimes feels qualitatively and quantitatively different.

People have always treated one another with unspeakable cruelty, but the proliferation of social media has given every horrible act — no matter how sinister or shocking — some semblance of coverage and air time. In a way, the normalization of these crimes (via breathless reporting) has paved the way for only the truly horrific stories to get the most coverage.

Perhaps it’s a combination of that innate cruelty and widespread coverage that Jones’ alleged crimes did not shock me in the least.

And that says quite a bit — none of it good — about the modern world.


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Michael Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in History and has taught at multiple colleges and universities. He has published one book and numerous essays on Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Early U.S. Republic. He loves dogs, baseball, and freedom. After meandering spiritually through most of early adulthood, he has rediscovered his faith in midlife and is eager to continue learning about it from the great Christian thinkers.
Michael Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in History and has taught at multiple colleges and universities. He has published one book and numerous essays on Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Early U.S. Republic. He loves dogs, baseball, and freedom. After meandering spiritually through most of early adulthood, he has rediscovered his faith in midlife and is eager to continue learning about it from the great Christian thinkers.




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