Stand With Sophie is a GoFundMe campaign for a 9-year-old Frisco, Texas girl, Sophie Long, which went viral across the U.S. The campaign centers on a family court case involving Sophie’s parents and features an upsetting nearly 20-minute video of the child pleading with adults for help, alleging that she has suffered abuse at her mother’s home and refusing to leave the vehicle during a custody exchange. Thousands of people online are getting involved in the case and reaching out to officials.
Update: During a September 9 hearing on the case, the judge ruled that Sophie and her brothers would be placed in the care of Michael Long, their father, his attorney informed Heavy. Jamie L. Graham of Jamie Graham & Associates said that they are thrilled at the decision and said that the judge, who is a new judge for the case, decided to “err on the side of caution” in ruling that the children would be placed with Michael during the ongoing custody battle.
Graham told Heavy that an investigation is still open and ongoing with the Frisco Police Department and Child Protective Services has not yet come to a decision.
The GoFundMe campaign for Sophie which has been verified by the platform and is organized by Sophie’s stepmother, was posted on August 21 and has already raised over $50,000, doubling its target of $25,000. The story has created a movement, Stand With Sophie, that’s flooding the social media platform TikTok, where a video of Sophie pleading that she doesn’t want to leave her father has gained nearly a million views.
The Frisco Police Department posted a statement to Twitter confirming that there is an active case and urging the public to stop sharing false information and speculation online.
UPDATE: Information Alert pic.twitter.com/By1Rik6f2T
— Frisco Police (@FriscoPD) August 31, 2020
The Lacy Lakeview Police Department Also Posted a Statement Saying That Sophie Is in a ‘Safe Home’
In a statement posted to their Facebook page, the Lacy Lakeview Police Department (LLPD) provided more information about the situation. Chief John Truehitt wrote that the “female juvenile shown in numerous YouTube videos taken by her father and placed on a gofundme page is presently in a safe home.” He added that there is a lot of misinformation online and confirmed that there is an ongoing custody dispute.
The police chief wrote that the father lives “about 100 miles south of Lacy Lakeview” and the mother is “about 100 miles north.” Truehitt added that “in July 2020, the father reported the sexual abuse of the child to the appropriate law enforcement agency where the offense(s) occurred – These offenses did NOT occur in Lacy Lakeview.”
According to the police chief’s Facebook statement, his jurisdiction was involved in one incident in the family case. In that incident, the father said Sophie was injured during a custody exchange that occurred in Lacy Lakeview. According to the statement, the LLPD is investigating the father’s allegation as well as a phone call between Sophie’s father and Corporal Plummer of LLPD that was posted online.
Heavy confirmed that there is an ongoing family custody case in Collin County, Texas, involving Sophie’s parents. It is unclear where the case stands at this point and where Sophie is currently residing. An update to the GoFundMe page posted by the organizer stated, who claims to be Sophie’s stepmother, “We do not have Sophie or the boys. We do not know who has them.”
Many People on Social Media Are Getting Involved in the Case & Contacting Various Officials
The Frisco Police Department told Heavy it had received a high volume of requests through multiple channels about Sophie’s case. In addition to the Frisco Police Department, other officials have been contacted about the family case. Many people have taken to social media to say they are contacting Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Ranger Division in the Department of Public Safety, and there is even a White House petition circulating.
The Texas Ranger Division told Heavy that it is not involved in the case as it has not received a request for assistance.
In the last few days, the hashtag #StandWithSophie has gone viral on social media, with many people sharing the story and asking for help, sometimes tagging police departments or the Texas governor’s social media in their posts.