A worried aunt who ‘catfished’ her own niece to keep tabs on her behaviour has said she was horrified to discover the teenager was secretly plotting her murder.
Patra Williams, from Alabama, who had taken 22-year-old Marissa Williams in, claims she set up a fake Facebook profile as Tre ‘Topdog’ Ellis – only for Marissa to ask for him to kill her aunt.
Her niece was arrested for solicitation for murder but escaped while on probation and has been a fugitive ever since.
Patra, who has spoken about her ordeal for the first time in Channel 4’s My Online Nightmare, admitted: ‘I still wrestle with the thought of being deceptive towards her. But it was a necessarily evil.’
Patra befriended her niece, who had moved in with her in 2014, on Facebook while posing as a man, and the pair began exchanging messages.
She revealed on the show how Marissa was soon contacting ‘Tre’ regularly, saying that she hated living with her aunt and suggesting they have sex in her bedroom as Patra slept.
‘She was so angry with me,’ Patra said. ‘She totally disengaged from me. After that you could feel the tension in the house.’
Marissa had moved into her aunt’s home in 2014, but their relationship quickly became fraught according to Patra.
‘I was just trying to be a doting aunt but I had no idea what I was getting myself into,’ Patra explained. ‘I just wanted to keep my eye on her.’
Patra set up the fake Facebook account after Marissa began spending all of her time on the site, and arranging to meet boys she had befriended online.
Posing as a man called Tre, Patra began chatting to her find out about her behaviour, but soon discovered details about her niece she didn’t want to know.
Patra recalled a stream of messages Marissa sent after one particularly explosive row, when Patra attempted to restrict the teenager from leaving the house at unusual hours after she had set up a pretend date with ‘Tre’.
‘I feel so trapped, she won’t let me see you! F*** my auntie,’ Marissa allegedly wrote.
‘B**** don’t know s*** about me. I’m going f****** crazy. You gotta get me outta here. I hate her, I hate everyone here. I know how I can see you, come to the house and kill my aunt.’
Patra admitted she was stunned at the venom in her niece’s messages that she unknowingly was sending to her aunt.
‘I’m thinking no this isn’t real,’ she alleged. ‘In the instant she said “yes I want you to kill them all and the dog”, she reiterated it.’
The woman says she was left in fear for her life after Marissa ALLEGEDLY explained in detail how to get into her auntie’s bedroom so that ‘Tre’ could murder her.
‘I was really scared, I truly was. She was so callous about it and specific.’
Patra believed Marissa was serious about the plot when she told ‘Tre’ that she had packed a suitcase and was ready to leave as soon as he accomplished the ALLEGED murder.
It was then Patra called the police – a decision she says still plagues her with guilt.
‘I remember hitting all three of those buttons, 9-1-1. I had a lump in my throat, I don’t remember speaking cohesively. The other person on the end was trying to make sense about it, they wanted to know if it was real.’
Patra describes how baffled her niece was to be arrested – and says she was speechless to learn who ‘Tre’ really was.
The teenager was arrested for solicitation to murder but while she was on probation she ran away and is currently a fugitive.
My Online Nightmare airs on Wednesday April 12 at 10pm.