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Chat room friendship puts S.C. teen at risk

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (BP)–Summer Nix thought her friends were playing a vampire game until a stranger sucked blood from her lips.
“The whole thing was like a bad … nightmare,” she said.
Last year the 13-year-old from Spartanburg ran away with a friend after meeting a cult leader in a chat room. His name was Cash Morris, an 18-year-old from Sparks, Nev., who called himself the Dark One.
“He professes to be a modern day vampire,” said Connie Nix, Summer’s mother.
“I had no earthly idea,” she added. “We didn’t have a computer at the time.”
Summer would go to her friend Casey’s house and watch while the 15-year-old contacted Morris in a vampire chat room.
“They assumed it was an elaborate game,” said Colin Gabrial Hatcher, with Cyber Angels, an Internet safety organization.
“The kids get into trouble with their parents,” he added. “He (Morris) was trying to persuade this girl to run away. Often the two things go together.”
The on-line friendship developed into a romance. Morris drove to S.C., and asked Casey to leave with him. She didn’t want to go unless Summer went also. That led to an 11-day trip with no word to parents.
“It was a terrible ordeal,” said Connie Nix. She found a note that said: “Dear Mom, this has nothing to do with you. I will be back. Love, Summer.”
Morris took the girls back to Nevada, where his group would gather in old buildings. That’s where the game turned strange.
“They were … cutting each other’s bodies and drinking each other’s blood,” explained Hatcher.
“At first I didn’t know what to say or how to act,” added Summer. I was scared.”
Casey bit into Morris’s hand and began to suck his blood. One man leaned over as if to kiss Summer. He bit into her lips and began to suck her blood. She drew back with holes through the skin, swollen lips and a bruise.
“I’m ready to go home,” she told Casey.
Cult members dropped her at a gas station where Summer called police.
“The scariest thing is that no charges were met,” added Hatcher.
Nevada law required Summer’s mother to be in that state. She lacked funds for a trip. Summer went home and Casey, her friend, stayed to marry the cult leader.
“There’s nothing the police could do,” said Hatcher. “The kids don’t seem to be learning from the news.”
A year has passed since the ordeal. Summer and her mother now attend Westside Baptist Church in Spartanburg. Summer is in counseling. And she tries to warn other young people about the danger in chat rooms.
“You’ll get hurt,” she says. “I have the same nightmares … every day of my life.”

    About the Author

  • Clay Renick