Trembley with Fear
Date Added: Sept. 9, 2007
Missing child chain letters have long been the bane of BreakTheChain.org. In most cases, they are created by well-meaning folk who underestimate the reach and permanence of the net. But this chain is a sign of an alarming new trend to use missing kid chain letters as practical jokes on friends and family.
Staff Sergeant Rick Williams Wichita Falls Police Dept. 1007 N. Elm St. Wichita Falls, Texas 76310 (940) 696-3671 Fax (940) 691-6346
Please look at the picture, read what his mother says, then forward this message on.
My 15 year old boy, Evan Trembley, is missing. He has been missing for now two weeks.
Maybe if everyone passes this on, someone will see this child. That is how the girl from Stevens Point was found by circulation of her picture on tv. The internet circulates even overseas, South America , and Canada etc. Please pass this to everyone in your address book. With GOD on his side he will be found.
'I am asking you all, begging you to please forward this email on to anyone and everyone you know, PLEASE.
It is still not too late. Please help us. If anyone knows anything, please contact me at: HelpfindEvanTrembley@yahoocom I am including a picture of him.
All prayers are appreciated! ! '
It only takes 2 seconds to forward this.
If it was your child, you would want all the help you could get!!
The Amber Alert system in the U.S. is an innovative tool of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that utilizes law enforcement, transportation departments and the media to spread word about missing child cases in which speed is of the essence to ensure the child's safe return. However, the Amber Alert system does not include e-mail chain letters because of their inherent lack of control. The fact that this claims to be an Amber Alert sent by a member of law enforcement is just the first in a long-line of sign that this is nothing more than a hoax.
The second sign is that the text is borrowed, nearly verbatim, from an earlier hoax about Ashley Flores, another child we are to believe had gone missing. The Flores chain was borrowed heavily from the Penny Brown hoax, which in turn was derivative of the Kelsey Brook Jones chain, and so on.
But this chain has more in common with the Flores hoax, which was created as a practical joke by one of Ashley's friends. This time, the prankster is the supposedly missing child himself.
Evan Trembley is indeed a teen from Wichita Falls, TX, but he was never missing. Rather, he snatched the text from the Flores letter on a MySpace bulletin, adapted it to himself, added his photo and re-posted it. His intention was to amuse some friends, but he was utterly unprepared for the life his fake notice has taken on.
The attribution to Sergeant Williams at Wichita Falls P.D. was also Trembley's creation. There is no such officer and the address and fax number given for the department are fakes. The phone number listed is the Trembley family phone line, however, prompting hundreds of calls to the family offering tips, assistance and well-wishes. As of this writing, it did not appear the department would take action against Evan for the prank.
The e-mail address given for leads was also made up by Trembley.
Missing child chain letters are very compelling and most people will forward them because they fear what might happen to the child if the story is true. They are willing to suspend disbelief because the possibility that a child may be in need and they chose to do nothing to help is something they couldn't deal with. For reasons why missing child chain letters should always be validated before forwarding, read The Trouble with Missing Child Chains in the Chain-Breaker's Library. Break this chain.
References: About.com, Snope.com, Hoax-Slayer.com