LILBURN, Ga. -- It's a mystery one local family has been trying to unravel for months now: Is their teenage son the victim of an elaborate prank or a child predator?
Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer tried to get to the bottom of that question, and discovered that even federal agents aren't sure.
But investigators with the United States Postal Inspection Service were so interested, they opened a preliminary case to examine the evidence.
Most 14 year olds don't receive much mail, especially an unsolicited letter in an envelope stamped 'confidential' in red ink, with printed labels from a modeling agency named 'S&M'.
"This is sick. This is just...Something's wrong," said a Gwinnett County mom who didn't want to be identified.
She still isn't sure who targeted her teenage son, explicitly mentioning his name in each of the letters.
The letter was sent to at least 15 freshmen at Parkview High School in Lilburn.
"That scared me. Like, he's a minor... there's no way my son would be doing any 'artistic nude' photo shoots," the mother said.
The letter says her son would be launching his modeling career with revealing photos, and invites his classmates to show up and watch.
But the letter lists no location. Two photos included in the letter are lifted from the Internet.
"My thought was number one, it's either some kind of pervert who is trying to get photos or it's some child at school playing a prank," the mother said.
Fleischer tried to find out which.
First, she drove to the return address listed on the envelope.
It's a real modeling agency for kids in northwest Atlanta.
"Oh it's absurd. It's crazy, it's insane and we don't know why," said Eva Stancil, owner and operator of Kiddin' Around, the real modeling agency at that address, “Who is the victim here? Is it the boy or is it us?"
Stancil had already seen the letters when several showed up in her mailbox marked return to sender.
She also heard from an angry father.
"He thought that 'S&M' may be a division of Kiddin' Around – which let me get this perfectly clear – it is not," said Stancil, who had already contacted the Atlanta Police Department.
"The police basically told me there was nothing they can do," said Stancil.
But Fleischer also showed the letters and envelopes to investigators with the United States Postal Inspection Service.
"By them using someone else's address, it could be to lure children to a destination for child exploitation, or it could have just been an elaborate prank, but whatever the case is, just the use of this address alone is illegal," said inspector Yulanda Burns.
Burns said, if caught, the sender could end up in prison for up to five years.
The envelopes have identifying codes on the outside, but the best clues may be inside the unopened letters.
For example, DNA from whoever sealed them, or fingerprints on the letter inside.
Burns did not want to comment specifically regarding the agency's investigative tools.
"There is a lot of evidence that can be gathered, so we will conduct a preliminary investigation to see what we can find out, to see who is responsible for this," said Burns.