BREAKING: Post by Indianapolis online predator catchers group leads to local investigation
Social media posts over the weekend regarding a local teacher allegedly being caught by an online predator catchers group out of Indianapolis led to an investigation by local officials.
PCI: Predator Catchers Indianapolis (https://predatorcatchers.com/) posted a video on Facebook of what appears to be Josh Dowdy, 42, meeting a decoy - a 13-year-old girl - in a Terre Haute store. (The video is also on YouTube.com.)
Dowdy, using the name “Daniel,” is shown purchasing snacks for the decoy.
The group - who is dedicated to “Exposing as many online preds as we can” - said Dowdy told them he was an elementary school teacher and made inappropriate text messages involving sex. The group also said Dowdy admitted his age to being married with children and living in Brazil. However, he also told them a lot of false information during the monitored interactions with the decoy.
When the PCI group identified Dowdy, they also posted his photo as a staff member at Cornerstone Christian Academy.
On Monday, Cornerstone Christian Academy Principal Catherine Dowers admitted it was a tough day, and issued a statement on behalf of the school:
“Mr. Josh Dowdy was employed by CCA. He is no longer employed here. We did our due diligence, and his background check came back above the board.
He is under investigation with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, and we are in full cooperation.
Our desire has been and continues to be the safety and well-being of our students.”
The Cornerstone Christian Academy administration will not comment further.
Clay County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Josh Clarke and Clay County Prosecutor Emily Clarke were at Cornerstone Christian Academy to speak with students, staff, and parents Monday.
“Our main goal now is to ensure the safety of the staff members and students here at the school,” said Chief Deputy Josh Clarke. “There’s a lot of upset parents, and rightfully so.”
The sheriff’s department also issued a statement regarding the matter:
“The Clay County Sheriff’s office is aware of a social media post from yesterday’s date of a now-former teacher from Cornerstone Christian Academy.
Although the incident that was filmed did not occur in Clay County, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the incident and working closely with the school and multiple other agencies.
As of Sunday evening, search warrants have been obtained and executed in an attempt to gain more information about this incident and any other potential criminal activity. It is our goal to maintain the safety of our youth, and we will do everything we can to ensure this investigation is complete.
If charges will be filed either in this jurisdiction or another, more details will be released at that time. If anyone has information that they believe would be helpful to this investigation, please contact Chief Deputy Josh Clarke at 812-446-2535 ext. 5.”