"Baby face" isn’t usually a term that strikes fear into the heart of anyone. But the young-looking adults on this list of people who pretended to be teens are some of the scariest monsters you’ll ever read about. A few of the imposters played their sick games online, but most of them went incognito as teens right under the noses of other adults. The stories collected here are a chilling selection of tragedies that sadly play out again and again across the Western world. Take a look at these adults who could pass as a teen and what they did with their unsettlingly young looks.
Those of us who lived through the burgeoning days of Myspace remember how easy it was to make friends that you never met in person. You might still be friends with some of those people. Whether or not you realize it, the trust needed to make a friend that easily is something that con artists take advantage of every day. Most adults have their guard up against things like that, but teenagers haven’t been around long enough to think that someone would actually pretend to be their age just to be their friend. The stories on this list range from sad tales to truly despicable human beings.
In 2007, a convicted offender named Neil Havens Rodreick II tried to enroll in two different Arizona schools posing as a 12-year-old. Unbeknownst to Rodreick, authorities were already suspicious, believing him to be a child in need of help. After he was taken into custody, it came out that Rodreick had convinced two older men that he was 12 years old, shaved his body hair, and wore makeup to appear more boyish.
Adding to the layers of weirdness in this story, when it was revealed that he was 29, the men he tricked into relationships "were very upset."
In 2015, Russell Wayne Deviney, a 48-year-old man from Washington, pretended to be an 18-year-old on the Internet in order to groom a 15-year-old girl that he met online. After gaining the girl's trust, he suggested that they go on a one-day trip together, and taking her from her home in California.
He was caught when the girl told eaters in an Astoria, Oregon, McDonald's that she needed help.
Under the auspices of teaching teens a lesson, Coby Persin pretended to be a teenage boy to catfish young women (with the help of their parents) and show everyone just how gullible kids really are.
In 2014, Anna Areola-Hernandez pretended to be a 15-year-old girl online in order to meet teenage boys. Hernandez eventually got pregnant by one of the boys and gave him an STD.
According to the police, Hernandez "admitted to preferring younger boys rather than men her own age, but did not explain why."