Boonville police assist in arrest of Columbia man
Boone County — Detectives with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department Cyber Crimes Task Force and the Boonville Police Department arrested a 24 year old Columbia man for suspicion of several Internet related crimes against children on Monday.
This arrest stems from an investigation that began in mid December 2013 when the two agencies were conducting a non-related but Internet based investigation. As a result of interviews in that investigation investigators discovered a 24 year old Columbia man had been engaged in inappropriate Internet chat conversations with a 13 year old Mid-Missouri girl. The subsequent investigation discovered the suspect had contacted the victim through an Internet chat room in early November 2013 and began conversing with her.
During these conversations the male sent sexually graphic photographs of himself to the girl and she also sent sexually graphic photographs of herself to him. The report indicates that after receiving the photographs the suspect encouraged the girl to meet him late at night after she snuck out of her residence. The suspect then drove her to a nearby location where he engaged in sexual conduct with her. On December 19, investigators located the suspect in Boone County and seized his cellular telephone pursuant to a Court ordered search warrant. On that phone were sexually graphic photographs of the 13 year old victim had sent him. Later that day investigators also seized a computer from his residence pursuant to a Court ordered Serving Boone, Audrain, Cooper, Callaway, Cole, Howard and Randolph Counties search warrant.
The suspect is identified as 24 year old Christopher Allen Snell of 5555 East O’Rear Road in Columbia. Snell was arrested at the Boone County Sheriff’s Department after being re-contacted by investigators and was arrested for suspicion of the Enticement of a Child, Possession of Child Pornography, and Sexual Misconduct Involving a Child. As of the time of this release the suspect is in the Boone County Jail pending the filing of formal charges by the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The current investigation is continuing and investigators are attempting to locate other young women the suspect is believed to have been in contact with.
Anyone with any knowledge or suspicions of this suspect contacting underage girls in person or over the Internet is urged to contact Task Force Investigators. Additional charges are expected to be filed in Cooper County, Missouri. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Department Cyber Crimes Task Force is composed of investigators from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, the University of Missouri Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
This project is supported by funds made available through the State of Missouri Cyber Crimes Grant administered by the Missouri Department of Public Safety. The Boone County Sheriff’s Department Cyber Crimes Task Force is part of the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is and supported by funding made available through MO ICAC from the US Department of Justice-Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.