Police recently arrested a man suspected of sending suspicious packages to one of the underage girls featured on the reality docu-series Dance Moms.
Police from the San Diego Police Department apprehended the man suspected of sending the materials on Tuesday. Phoenix Sundown, 36, was booked for sending obscene messages and materials to a minor, TMZ reports.
On Tuesday afternoon, several suspicious packages were sent to the P.O. box for the dance studio the girl goes to in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania. U.S. Postal Service inspector Tammy Mayle spoke with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, explaining that the parcels contained "inappropriate content for minors." Mayle did not elaborate, as the investigation is ongoing.
The Pennsylvania bomb squad destroyed the packages with a water cannon outside the Murrysville post office where they were sent.
The intended recipient of the packages has not been revealed due to her age, however it is believed that several girls may have been the target of multiple inappropriate packages.
A mother from Dance Moms tells ET in recent months families involved with the show have been sent packages filled with children’s toys like teddy bears, and some with sex toys and cigarette lighters. "Some of the packages were sent to home addresses, other packages were sent to the girls’ private studios in their hometowns,” she says. She said the sender of the packages didn’t identify themselves.
While authorities have not revealed what the destroyed packages contained, WTAE in Pittsburgh reports the packages included an Elvis blanket, a coffeemaker, a scrapbook, a tribal blanket and handwritten letters.
According to TMZ, a rep for the Dance Moms student claims that Sundown posted a picture of Elizabeth Smart -- who was famously kidnapped from her home when she was 14 and rescued nine months later – to social media, tagged the underage Dance Moms star, and included the hashtag “#futuregoals.” The harassment allegedly began two months ago.
Additional reporting by Brendon Geoffrion