Alicia Kozakiewicz was just 13-years-old when she snuck out of her parents house on New Years day to meet a friend. Waiting for her near the house was Scott Tyree, a 31-year-old man with whom she had an online relationship and thought was close to her own age.
What the young girl didn't realize was that the man awaiting her in the truck outside of her Pittsburgh home had sinister intentions and abducted her on that night in 2002.
Kozakiewicz was held hostage for days. Tyree tortured and sexually assaulted her while her family and authorities tried to find her. On the fourth day, FBI agents barged through the door of her captor's house, broke her free from her chains, and brought her home. A fate not many abducted children are granted.
"Children though, we were all children, are vulnerable by nature, we are vulnerable beings and we need to be protected," Kozakiewicz said Sunday on Weekends with Alex Witt.
Today, Kozakiewicz is the founder of the Alicia Project, an organization set up to help survivors of internet predators and the family and friends affected by them. More than a decade after her rescue, Kozakiewicz has dedicated herself to helping those who have been through similar ordeals. She speaks to students, teachers, and their parents about the dangers that exist online.