Virtual world spawns real-life crime

CLAYMONT, Del. - August 22, 2008 - Police say Kimberly Jernigan, 33, of Durham, North Carolina was a member of the web community "Second Life."

It's where investigators say she began a virtual love affair with a 52 year old man who lives at the Whitney Presidential Towers in Claymont.

Police are not releasing that man's name, but they do says he was the "king of the jungle."

"His character was described as a lion," said Cpl. Trinidad Navarro of the New Castle County Police. "Her character was a virtual woman, and they had a full-scale relationship online."

According to police, Jernigan drove to Delaware from North Carolina, with her dog in tow, after the "lion" broke off the relationship after meeting her in person.

Once in Delaware, police say Jernigan posed as a postal worker, and broke into the apartment with handcuffs and duct tape intending to kidnap her virtual lover.

"It was her intention to come to Delaware, to kidnap her ex-boyfriend, and start a new life out west somewhere," Cpl. Navarro said.

However, police say when the man spotted Jernigan in his apartment, he fled and called 911. Police say she took off too and left her four-legged partner behind.

"After getting into the house, he was making too much noise, so she had to duct-tape the dog and leave it in the bathroom. She left it behind when she fled," said Cpl. Navarro.

Jernigan is behind bars after being picked up by police in Maryland. Her dog, Gogi, is at the SPCA until this case it settled.

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