A bodybuilding model was sentenced to five years in prison after faking a kidnapping attempt on her daughter and using phony Instagram accounts to terrorize her competitors.
Tammy Steffen, a resident of Holiday, Florida, targetied a former business partner as well as rival models using an arsenal of 369 Instagram accounts with 18 different email addresses, according to the Washington Post.
"I plan to slice you up into little pieces," the 37-year-old mother of four told one."Your blood shall I taste.”
Steffen focused on at least six people over two years, harassing and threatening them with phone calls, text messages, emails and on social media, where she also made threats against their families and friends, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“All hell is gonna rain fire down on your world like never seen before,” she wrote in one text message. “I'm coming,” she wrote in another, alongside a picture of a woman wielding two knives.
Steffen’s bizarre ruse came crashing to a halt when she made her 12-year-old daughter tell police that a Latino man had tried to kidnap her from their home in July 2018; Steffen herself then identified her former business partner as a possible suspect. The man had co-owned a gym with her in nearby Tampa, and was targeted by the bodybuilding mom because she beleived he had sabotaged her at an online fitness competition, television station WFLA reported.
When police arrived to investigate the reported abduction attempt, Steffen said the man had given up and run into the woods behind her home, where investigators discovered a laptop case containing paperwork and information on both Steffen and her residence.
Once police obtained surveillance footage showing the ex-partner had been in Tampa at the time of the incident and questioned Steffen’s daughter again, however, the girl asked investigators “what would happen to (her mother) if she told the truth.”
That’s when police went through Steffen’s cell phone and uncovered incriminating text messages she had sent to her one-time partner, accusing him of causing her to lose the online fitness contest. Surveillance footage from a nearby Walmart showed Steffen purchasing a laptop case identical to the one police found in her back yard.
She was ultimately charged with filing a false police report, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and tampering with a witness. She was additionally charged with stalking and cyberbullying after authorities uncovered her myriad online threats.