Toronto, Jan 2: Online chats can lead - and have often led - to dangerous liaisons. A Canadian family woke to one such liaison Wednesday when they found their teenage son gone from home at the dead of night to meet a much older woman whom he had met online playing a popular game called the World of Warcraft.
As it happened, 16-year-old Andrew Kane of Barrie town near Toronto had struck up friendship with a 42-year-old American woman, who is a mother of four. Their romance blossomed, and the woman flew from Texas to Toronto and drove a rental car to secretly meet her young Canadian lover early this week.
The boy, who is an eleventh grade student, slipped out of his home at 2 a.m. after his parents refused his request to drive him (to nearby Midland township) to see his American lover.
His mother Marlene Kane said she heard her front door open, and found her son gone, leaving behind a troubling trail of web chats that led to Houston, Texas. Identifying the American woman as Ms Lauri Price from Texas, police released her picture Wednesday and contacted their counterparts in Texas.
The boy and his American lover were found Thursday afternoon in a shopping outlet after two days of hectic search.
The mother of the boy said the family was horrified to find out about their son's relationship with the woman more than a year ago from an MSN chat log between the two. To keep a check on his online chat with the woman, she said the family kept its computer in a common area.
But since the computer kept a log of his chats, the mother said she was horrified to read recently about her son's plan to meet the American woman and their overt sexual discussions.
So when his parents rebuffed his request to see the woman, the boy left home at night, leaving a message, saying, "I don't know how to explain it to you, but this will show you not only the commitment we have to each other, but also that your fears of her are ill found.
"Like I said, she offered to meet with you. I got in the way of that. What person who would do me harm would be willing to meet with you?''
Police said the American woman and the young boy expressed no remorse. She will face no criminal charges as the boy is no longer a minor. The age of consent in Canada is 16.
The boy has been restored to his parents, and his elderly lover is on her way back to the US.
"She will be making her way home (to Texas),'' the Canadian police said.