INDIANAPOLIS - Police say a Pennsylvania man targeted teenage girls in dozens of states and several countries, sending sexual letters and packages to their homes. Those letters also included photos he’d collected from their social media accounts.
It appears 46-year-old Joseph Polin was following his victims for years on social media, collecting and saving their photos, according to WXIN.
Last week, cousins Chris Shinkle and Brooke Flaugher both got letters at their homes in Noblesville and Marion County, addressed to their teenage daughters.
“I just immediately lost it, started to cry, because there’s pictures as young as five years old,” said Flaugher.
Inside were photo collages of their daughters, along with graphic, sexual letters in which Polin claims to have been watching them online for years.
“We’ve noticed that it wasn’t only the kids' accounts, it was the parent's accounts also,” said Shinkle.
Polin killed himself during an hours-long standoff with police last week at his home in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
But now, authorities say he sent similar mail to teenage girls in as many as 29 states, along with China, England and Canada.
“A little bit was relieved knowing there was a lot of others out there,” said Shinkle.
Both Shinkle and Flaugher say some of the photos Polin had were from accounts they’d closed years ago, along with images from current sites like Instagram and Facebook.
“All of our social media accounts are private,” said Flaugher, “but obviously they were not because he…hacked into our stuff and got pictures of our children.”
Their fear now is that other letters might still be making their way through the postal system or that other victims are too afraid to speak up.
“Maybe young girls received the mail, and they’re scared to tell their parents… which is scary because a young girl should not have to open a letter from a sick individual like this,” said Flaugher.
Police in Pennsylvania are still analyzing Polin’s computers and trying to track down others he may have sent letters to. If you happen to find one in your mailbox, you’re asked to call your local police department and report it.