LAMESA, TX (KCBD) - The all-too-real murders of two women at the hands of a man who became known as the ‘Suitcase Killer’ have given a voice to a Lamesa High School Sophomore.
Michaela Riggings submitted a 2-minute public service announcement promoting the importance of online safety to the 2018 Great American No Bull Challenge.
Riggings walked away as the ‘Golden Ticket’ winner in the contest, one of four awards given. She said the story of Rosendo Rodriguez and his victims were the reason she wanted to promote online safety.
Last year, Riggins attended a law enforcement summer camp that looked into the two cases that claimed the lives of 29-year-old Summer Baldwin and 16-year-old Joanna Rogers. “The way he targeted his victims was online chat rooms. He’d pose to be someone else and then convince these girls to go out with him and then he’d end up killing them.”
The contest is open worldwide to students ages 15-24 who through short video documentaries and PSA’s. According to their website, they touch on topics like, “bullying, violence, drug/alcohol abuse, inequality, suicide, internet & gambling addiction, LGBT and obesity.”
Riggins said she wants her video to make others think twice when they’re online and hopes to create an impact. “Being able to see the impact of me being safe online can have on students and really anyone in their life. That was something that I felt like needed to be more vocalized because we tend to sweep it under the rug instead of looking at it like a real problem.”
Lamesa High School principal Jerry Jarabek said he got chills from watching Michaela’s video. “What she is describing is exactly what I saw happen first hand. I hope this is something that gets a lot of play in classrooms and schools all around because it is real, and it is something that sadly to does happen in West Texas.”
Jerabek said although the video is disturbing, it is something people need to see and hear.
Riggins will be honored for her video at the Texas Business Professionals of America state conference in Dallas in early March.