Kidnapped boy thought he was saving suspected captors from suicide, dad says

Investigators told WHBQ that two suspects have been arrested in Illinois after a teen went missing in Mississippi.

Both suspects received a $555,555 bond for the charge of kidnapping and $55,555 for the charge of conspiracy.

Officers said John Aubrey Peal III went missing after he was messaging strangers on a gaming app.

His parents later traveled to Illinois to pick John up after turning himself in to a local fire department, police said.

The boy's father, John Peal II, recounted his emotions when he saw the suspects' mugshots for the first time.

"When I saw their mugshots, I thought I had seen the devil," John Peal II said.

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He also told WHBQ that he later found out that his son arranged to meet them about a block away from their home. The suspects met with the teen around 3 a.m., then he was lured away, John Peal II said.

"The people manipulated my son's mind for months. He thought he was saving them from suicide. He gave them advice on how to not kill themselves. He looked at himself as a hero," John Peal II said.

The teen's father confirmed to WHBQ that his son used the gaming app "Discord" to meet the suspects.

He said media coverage forced the boy's captors to let him go.

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