The kidnappers use the MessagePad to route their telephone calls, making them untraceable.
I don't remember Newton OS having an FBI-proof dialler option.
Year of feature (shown above)
That's not a MessagePad. It's probably a Digital Ocean Tarpon or Seahorse. It could also be a Harris SuperTech 2000.
They were similar to the MessagePads, but they had more advanced features such as built-in wireless modems or GPS receivers.