11-year-old boy: 'Don't date people over Xbox Live'

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by Nakia Cooper & Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 17 at 2:37 PM

HODGENVILLE, Kentucky—The family of an 11-year-old boy said they are not happy with all the national attention their son is getting after a severe case of puppy love sparked a 13-year-old Cypress girl to steal a car and drive hundreds of miles to see him.

Beth Robinson and Dylan met while playing Xbox online. The two gamers became boyfriend and girlfriend, and Beth was totally lovestruck. There was just one problem: Beth lived in Cypress, Texas and Dylan lived in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Beth told Dylan the long distance would not keep her away.

Bound and determined to meet her boyfriend in person, she hatched a plan that would make that happen.

Beth stole her mom’s ATM card, snuck out her bedroom window, hopped in her brother’s car and hit the road. Her family discovered she was missing the morning of September 6.

Beth left a note saying she was running away because she was being bullied at school, but her mom thought that did not add up.

After finding an email from Dylan with his address, they figured out that Beth was heading to Kentucky to see the object of her affection.

Authorities began tracking Beth’s movements through the stolen ATM card and her dad hit the highway to try and catch up with his little girl. After a story aired on KHOU 11 News, an Amber Alert was issued and everyone on the path in between Texas and Kentucky was looking out for Beth.

Beth made it all the way to Nashville, Tennessee before a state trooper pulled her over and ended her adventure.

According to WSMV, Trooper Dwayne Stanford received an alert that Beth had been seen in Hope, Arkansas around 2 p.m. that Thursday. Her ATM card was declined six times but some strangers gave her gas money. That hit from the ATM card let authorities know the teen was still on the move.

Trooper Stanford calculated that she would be headed his way about 10 or 11 p.m. so he pulled over to wait.

Sure enough, Beth drove right by him on Interstate 40 around 10:24 p.m.

When Stanford turned on his lights to pull her over, she nearly struck a guardrail while exiting the interstate. Beth’s mother said she was scared and nervous, but still told authorities she was traveling to see Dylan.

Authorities took her into custody until she was reunited with her dad a few hours later. The Robinsons decided to let Beth meet Dylan so she could put this to rest, once and for all.

Beth’s father drove her to Hodgenville, but they never found Dylan’s home. That triggered speculation that Dylan didn't really exist and Beth had been fooled by an internet predator.

So Dylan's family decided to come forward and they spoke to WHAS, our sister in Louisville.

“Dylan is alive, he is an 11-year-old, he goes to middle school here in town,” his grandfather said.

Speaking outside his Kentucky home, Dylan confirmed Beth told him over Xbox Chat that she was coming to see him, but he thought she was just fooling around.

“I thought she was just tricking me because she does that type of stuff sometimes, and then when I had to come out of school and talk to state police and her mother,” he said, he knew she meant serious business.

Dylan said he never invited Beth and never imagined she would really try it. Thankful that everything turned out well, Dylan said he learned a valuable lesson.

“Don’t date people over Xbox Live at all,” he said.

But what if Beth actually made it? Dylan’s family said their actions would have been an easy choice.

“We would’ve invited her in like the detective asked us to and dialed 911,” the grandfather said.

Dylan’s family says they will be watching his online activity from now on and think all parents should do the same.

Authorities decided not to charge Beth or give her any citations.

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