FREELAND (WJRT) (12/05/17) - Tittabawassee Township police issued a warning Tuesday about a 37-year-old can seeking inappropriate photos of young girls in the Freeland area.
The man claimed he was a 12-year-old boy and contacted young girls mainly through direct messages on Instagram. Most of the girls he contacted attend Freeland Community Schools.
Nicole Bourcier felt "angry and very concerned" when she received an email from Freeland schools warning about the alleged predator.
"There's a lot of sick people and this is very close to home," Bourcier said. "I don't have a daughter, but I do have a son that goes to Freeland schools. I have nieces that age, so to know that she could be one of these that he has targeted is chilling. "
Freeland Community Schools Superintendent Matt Cairy said district administrators were contacted by the Tittabawassee Township Police Department about the suspicious Instagram communications over the weekend.
"We personally contacted all the parents of students who were directly involved in this and then contacted all of our parents to make sure they knew what was going on," Cairy said.
He wouldn't say how many students had been contacted by the man or the students' ages. Police say the man was using the screen names "Saginawbaseball;trevor", "tKnightFreeland:Saginaw Baseball" and "23basketabllJones23:knight".
"I hope parents use this as an opportunity to talk to their kids about the dangers that are out there, making sure they're keeping their own children safe," Cairy said.
Bourcier said this incident is a reminder that not everyone on social media has good intentions when trying to make a connection.
"It's very scary. It's disheartening at the same time," she said. "So definitely something that needs to be talked about with our kids a lot more frequently, unfortunately."
Police have identified the suspect in the case, spoken with him and served search warrants as part of the investigation. The Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office will receive police reports after the investigation is complete and decide whether to file any criminal charges.
While no criminal charges have been filed yet, police say he is no longer a concern.
Cairy served a trespass warning against the suspect, which bans him from stepping foot on any Freeland school campus for any reason.