18-year-old mother Jazmin Paez allegedly asked for her son to be “taken away, far, far, far away and possibly be killed but ASAP.”
A Florida woman accused of attempting to hire a hitman online to kill her three-year-old son has been released from jail on bond by her father.
18-year-old Jazmin Paez of Miami is facing charges of first-degree solicitation of murder and third-degree using a communications device for an unlawful use, CBS News reported. Police said that Paez provided a photo of her son and an address along with her request and asked that the job be completed by the end of the week in her submission to rentahitman.com.
The site’s owner contacted local authorities when the request came through. Investigators then traced the IP address of the computer used to make the request and quickly matched it with the address of the intended victim.
Police found the child at home with his grandmother, safe and sound. The grandmother then confirmed the child’s identity from the request.
In the form, Paez allegedly wrote that she wanted “to get something done once and for all” by having her son killed. There was an additional request, too, to “be taken away, far, far, far away and possibly be killed but ASAP.”
Posing as the hired hitman, investigators contacted Paez to confirm the request and negotiated a $3,000 fee for the murder assignment. Shortly after they secured the contract, police returned to Paez’s home and arrested her.
Paez was jailed and granted a $15,000 bond by a judge — which her father then paid, leading to her release.
NBC6 Miami spoke with Paez’s father, who said in Spanish, “My daughter is not a monster. My daughter is a little girl who was born with health problems. She has liquid retained in her neck. She’s had 12 surgeries, she lost the ability to move her face. She’s been bullied in school, they called her ‘the monster.’”
Paez’s father remained confident that there is more to this case than meets the eye and that he believes the justice system will show the truth of the situation.
The toddler, meanwhile, is safe with relatives, and the Florida Department of Children and Families was notified of the incident.
Miami-Dade Police also admitted that there was some delay in the investigation, in part due to the uniqueness of the case.
“Because of the fact that it involved online allegations, so that’s what caused a little bit of a delay when he called a couple of times,” said Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta, “but then once they were able to get a grasp on exactly what he was referring to and how this is playing out, that’s when the call taker passed that information to the on-duty supervisor in the communications bureau.”
Robert Innes, who owns rentahitman.com, said that he had called the police department’s non-emergency number three times before they investigated the case. The first two calls led him to Crime Stoppers; the third got detectives involved.
According to Zabaleta, once police began the investigation, they arrested Paez within hours.
“The communications bureau has been in talks with us all day because of the fact that this is so bizarre, where we can utilize this now and create a best practice because of the fact that, simply because you run into something that’s a little bizarre and it’s the first time you run into it, doesn’t mean you’ll never run into it again,” Zabaleta said.
This is not the first time Innes’ satirical website has helped investigators catch would-be assassin-renters. In June of this year, a teenager in Iowa was arrested for using the site to attempt to hire a hitman for the assassination of a 7-year-old child.
Despite the site several clues revealing the parody — you’re unlikely to find a site to rent a hitman not on the dark web — a number of people have submitted what seem to be genuine requests for the site’s “services.” The home page of the website features several humorous “testimonials” and claims to be “100% HIPPA Compliant,” except in this case, HIPPA stands for “Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964.”
To be clear, no such act exists.
The site actually began as part of a short-lived business venture between Innes and friends, who wanted to start a cyber security company in 2005. They thought it would be a rather tongue-in-cheek way of advertising their services.
“Rent as in hire us,” Innes explained. “Hit as in network traffic, and men, because there were four of us. We thought it was funny.”
When their plans fell through, Innes forgot about the site until a few years later, when he decided to check its inbox and realized it was full of requests. To this day, he monitors the site’s email for any requests that may be legitimate threats and alerts local police when necessary.