She was a young girl who lacked confidence and simply wanted a boyfriend.
Then Ashleigh Hall clicked on to Peter Chapman's Facebook profile and saw a bare-chested teenager who was muscular, good looking and - crucially - interested in her.
Tragically for the 17-year-old trainee nursery nurse, the image of her young suitor was bogus.
In fact, he was a shaven-headed 33-year-old serial rapist who would lure her to her death and dump her in a ditch.
As 'calculated and wicked' Chapman began a minimum jail term of 35 years for Ashleigh's kidnap, rape and murder, it emerged that despite being a registered sex offender he had vanished off the police 'radar' for over a year after his risk level was downgraded.
Mrs Hall, 39, wept as horrific details of her daughter's last few hours were revealed in court.
She said later: 'Ashleigh wasn't a bad kid. She wasn't naughty. She made one mistake and has paid for it with her life.
Even on the day he was arrested for the murder, he was on his way to meet yet another 'Facebook friend'.
'However, what she did not know was that all of these text messages and the computer chat were from this defendant: A 32-year-old man who at the time was living out of the back of his car.'
They arranged to meet - with Chapman pretending to be 'Peter's dad' to explain why he looked nothing like the photo
- on October 25 last year.
He drove her to a secluded area called Thorpe Larches near Sedgefield in County Durham.
Once there Chapman forced her to perform a sex act before he bound and gagged her with duct tape, wrapping so much around her head that she suffocated to death
. He dumped her body in a ditch and drove off.
After his arrest, Chapman was taken to Middlesbrough police station where he asked to see a detective and confessed: 'I killed someone last night. I need to tell somebody from CID where the body is... It hasn't been reported yet.'